South of the Paw
October 27, 2009
The NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft took this picture of the region south of "the paw" on November 17, 2000, from an orbital altitude of 197 kilometers (122 miles). The paw consists of one large crater, Psyche, and several smaller ones superimposed on the rim, giving the overall appearance of a giant paw print. Psyche isn't shown in this image--it lies just off the lower right corner--but the paw's "toes" spread into the shadowed area. For this view, the camera was pointed southwest toward a portion of the asteroid where the Sun was directly overhead. Such a vantage point minimizes the effects of shadows and is preferred for color mapping. The scene is 9.3 kilometers (5.8 miles) from top to bottom.