NEAR Image of the Day for 2000 Mar 24

Second Eros Flyover Movie

On March 7, 2000, the imager on the NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft acquired this second of several planned "flyover movies" of Eros. This flyover shows the zero-degree longitude end of the asteroid and its western hemisphere from a range of 205 kilometers (127 miles). The northern hemisphere is toward the bottom of the frame and the southern hemisphere is toward the top. The changing lighting conditions during the movie allow the viewer to clearly distinguish the brightness variations due to topography and reflectivity of the surface. Notice, for example, how the bright patch in the crater on the asteroid's end passes out of view halfway through the movie. Notice also the bright streaks on the interior wall of the large, 5.5-kilometer (3.4-mile) crater, which comes into view at the same time. Both features retain their contrast with the surroundings even as the lighting changes and each crater begins to be shadowed, showing that the features are in fact surface markings.