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The Saddle Wall
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The Saddle Wall

October 26, 2009
On May 21, 2000, the imager on NEAR Shoemaker took this picture of the western wall of Eros' saddle from an orbital altitude of 51 kilometers (32 miles). The saddle is the large indentation in the asteroid's eastern hemisphere that helps give Eros its peanut-like shape.

In this upside-down view, the terrain slopes "down" toward the top. The upper part of the wall (at bottom) is marked by brightness mottling that, from this distance, appears as bands. The lower part of the wall (at top) is dotted by a number of boulders around 15 meters (50 feet) in size. The whole scene is about 1.4 kilometers (0.8 miles) across, and shows features as small as 4 meters (13 feet).