Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 17:20 EDT
Down Slippery Slopes
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Down Slippery Slopes

October 26, 2009
Even the earliest, low-resolution images of Eros from NEAR Shoemaker show a variety of bright patches and bands on crater walls and other steep slopes. This picture, taken June 16, 2000, from an orbital altitude of 50 kilometers (31 miles), captures bright patches in two different environments. The crater in the top center of the picture has a bright patch on one of its walls, whereas the low, curved escarpment that snakes along the bottom of the image has bright material exposed along its length. The bright patches are a source of speculation, but they may have originated from exposure of subsurface material. The whole scene is approximately 1.9 kilometers (1.2 miles) across.