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Boulderado
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Boulderado

October 28, 2009
One of the most recognizable surface features on Eros is the boulder-filled, concave depression at the southwestern edge of the saddle-shaped Himeros. When it was first glimpsed early in NEAR Shoemaker's orbital mission the area was informally tagged "Boulderado." It is shown here in a mosaic of pictures taken June 14, 2000, from an orbital altitude of 52 kilometers (32 miles).

This region has few superposed craters and, unlike the main part of Himeros, few geologic structures like curvilinear ridges or troughs. Instead, "Boulderado" is covered with the densest concentrations of boulders on the asteroid, suggesting that the craters that must once have populated the area have either been buried or eroded by regolith movement. To honor one of the giants of planetary science, Eugene Shoemaker, a formal name of Shoemaker Regio has been proposed for this part of Eros.