For much of the past five weeks, imaging activities on the NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft have focused on the high northern latitudes of Eros. The point at which the Sun is directly overhead - known as the "subsolar point" - has been steadily moving from Eros' northern regions toward the equator as the asteroid's seasons progress. As this happens, the northern hemisphere is illuminated less and less, and previously dark southern latitudes progressively come into view. In this image, taken March 19, 2000, from a range of 205 kilometers (127 miles), the asteroid's north pole is in the upper right of the frame. The whole scene is 7.4 kilometers (4.6 miles) across.
Built and managed by The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Maryland, NEAR was the first spacecraft launched in NASA's Discovery Program of low-cost, small-scale planetary missions. See the NEAR web page at http://near.jhuapl.edu/ for more details.