October 23, 2009
This plot shows a typical spectrum of Eros taken by the Near Infrared Spectrometer (NIS) on the NEAR spacecraft just before orbit insertion on February 14, 2000. The instrument measures the amount of sunlight reflected from the asteroid's surface over a wavelength range of 800-2400 nm, beyond the sensitivity of the human eye. Absorption bands due to the rock-forming minerals olivine and pyroxene are seen in the 1000 and 2000 nm regions, revealing information about Eros' composition.
Topics: Infrared, Electromagnetic spectrum, Space exploration, Sunlight, NEAR Shoemaker, 433 Eros, Asteroid