A Crease in the Saddle
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A Crease in the Saddle

October 26, 2009
Among the surface features on Eros that have become familiar from NEAR Shoemaker images are the "saddle," grooves, boulders, and brightness markings on the steep sides of various landforms. This image of the inside of the "saddle" combines them all. It was taken May 30, 2000, from an orbital altitude of 49 kilometers (30 miles). The scene is 1.8 kilometers (1.2 miles) wide, and features as small as 4 meters (13 feet) across are visible.

In this picture, the landscape is illuminated by the Sun high in the sky. This lighting emphasizes differences in the reflectivity of surface materials, and topographic relief appears subdued. The curved feature extending from lower left to upper right is the inside of a broad, shallow groove. Bright material covers parts of the groove's walls. Several boulders dot the right half of the scene. The boulder poised near the edge of the groove (upper right) is about 60 meters (197 feet) across.

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