This image of asteroid Eros, taken by NASA's NEAR Shoemaker on May 20, 2000, shows a long ridge that wraps around most of the asteroid's northern hemisphere. The large number of superimposed craters indicates that the ridge is a relatively old feature.

A particularly interesting landform on Eros is the long ridge that wraps around most of the asteroid's northern hemisphere. NEAR Shoemaker's digital camera captured part of that ridge just after local sunrise on May 20, 2000, from an orbital altitude of 50 kilometers (31 miles). The whole scene is about 1.4 kilometers (0.8 miles) across, and it shows features as small as 4 meters (13 feet). This part of the ridge is up to 250 meters (820 feet) wide, but both the width and the height of the feature vary along its length. The large number of superimposed craters indicates that the ridge is a relatively old feature.

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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