Noon in the Saddle
October 26, 2009
On August 29, 2000, the camera on NEAR Shoemaker took this picture of Eros' saddle region from an orbital altitude of 50 kilometers (31 miles). This view is from a sequence of images taken during a "flyover" of parts of the southern hemisphere with the Sun high overhead. With this lighting, shapes are subdued and differences in the reflectivity of surface materials are accentuated. Consequently, except in the foreground of this picture, craters are nearly invisible but bright patches stand out. The many large boulders present in this region are recognizable, with this lighting, mainly from the shadows at their bases. The whole scene is about 1.4 kilometers (0.9 miles) across.