An Eraser Mark on Eros
October 27, 2009
NEAR Shoemaker captured this amazing picture of adjacent regions in different states of surface degradation on January 7, 2001, from an orbital altitude of 35 kilometers (22 miles). The upper half and lower right parts of the image show surfaces with "typical" rounded craters and large boulders. However, the abruptly edged swath extending from lower left to middle right is remarkably more smooth, subdued, and lacking in small-scale detail of any type -- almost as if Eros had been altered by a giant eraser. The whole scene is about 1.4 kilometers (0.9 miles) across.