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Just Another Sunny Day on Eros
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Just Another Sunny Day on Eros

October 27, 2009
NEAR Shoemaker took this picture looking down the length of Eros on December 30, 2000, from an orbital altitude of 34 kilometers (21 miles). With multiple horizons and the Sun nearly overhead, washing out any shadows, Eros' surface could nearly pass for a desolate desert on Earth. This very superficial similarity belies the incredibly alien environment of the asteroid, with its low gravity (a few thousandths of Earth's gravity), total lack of atmosphere, and rotation period of just over five and one-quarter hours. The whole scene is about 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) across.


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