This image of asteroid Eros, taken by NASA's NEAR Shoemaker on May 16, 2000, shows brightness patterns at high spatial resolution. Brighter materials are several percent more reflective than their surroundings.

Images of Eros returned by NEAR Shoemaker show that many of the asteroid's craters have striking brightness patterns on their walls. This image, taken May 16, 2000, from an orbital altitude of 50 kilometers (31 miles), shows these brightness patterns at high spatial resolution. The whole scene is about 1.9 kilometers (1.2 miles) across, and shows features as small as 4 meters (13 feet). The brighter materials are several percent more reflective than their surroundings.

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.

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