Craters, Grooves and More
October 26, 2009
Thanks to Eros' irregular shape, initial appearances of which direction is up and which is down can be deceiving. Gravity pulls material in such a way that a surface that looks "tilted" in images may actually be flat, while on other parts of Eros, what appears to be downhill is, in fact, downhill. This NEAR Shoemaker picture, taken August 9, 2000, from an orbital altitude of 52 kilometers (32 miles), shows a part of the asteroid where normal sensibilities prevail. Here, bright regolith is exposed on a slope, and darker material and one particularly large boulder sit reassuringly at the "bottom" of a hill. The whole scene is about 2.2 kilometers (1.4 miles) across.
Topics: Geomorphology, 433 Eros, 2012, Alphonsus, Regolith, Space, Earth, NEAR Shoemaker, Asteroid, Planetary science