Final NEAR Shoemaker Descent Images of Eros from 2001 Feb 12
Range 250 meters (820 feet)
NEAR Shoemaker's image of asteroid 433 Eros taken from a range of 250 meters (820 feet). The image is 12 meters (39 feet) across. The cluster of rocks at the upper right measures 1.4 meters (5 feet) across.
(this image is appr. 6x9 meters) This image is one of the last before NEAR landed on the surface, taken 250 meters above the surface. The probe landed probably somewere near this circle? One of the ideas that comes in mind is that the stones were used as support to balance a spaceship (the circle is 3 meters wide). Any idea?
NEAR image of the day for 2001 Jul 31
These four pictures are among the last ones taken by NEAR Shoemaker on February 12, 2001, near the end of its successful descent to the surface of Eros.
The upper left picture was taken at about 1,150 meters (3,773 feet) from the surface, and shows an area about 54 m (180 ft) wide. The large boulder rests upon the surface with some overhang, while some of the smaller boulders appear partly buried by finer loose material.
The upper right picture was taken from a range of 700 meters (2,300 feet) and shows an area 33 meters (108 feet) across. Small craters and cracks are visible in individual boulders. Some of the boulders may be ejecta from distant craters, possibly broken apart further upon reimpact with the surface.
The lower left picture was taken from a range of 250 meters (820 feet). It shows an area only 12 meters (39 feet) across. Different amounts of burial of the rocks and boulders are evident.
The lower right picture is the last taken prior to touchdown, from a range of 120 meters (394 feet), and it measures 6 meters (20 feet) across. The bottom of the picture was lost due to interruption of its transmission to Earth as the spacecraft touched down. Part of a large boulder is visible at the top. At the bottom is an area of very smooth material that shows sinous patterns of erosion.
(Images 0157416593, 0157416593, 0157417133, 0157417198)
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