This image of asteroid Eros, taken by NASA's NEAR Shoemaker on July 24, 2000, shows large boulders in the scene, such as the broken one at the upper left, showing angular shapes. Many smaller boulders litter the scene; the smallest ones are also visible.

NEAR Shoemaker's incredibly detailed images from the low orbit around Eros continue to surpass the expectations of the mission team. This picture, taken July 24, 2000, from an orbital altitude of 36 kilometers (22 miles), shows a region about 900 meters (3,000 feet) across. Some of the largest boulders in the scene, such as the broken one at the upper left, show angular shapes. Many smaller boulders litter the scene; the smallest ones visible here are about 6 meters (19 feet) across.

Regolith seems to have banked up against several rocks. In some places, like the large crater below the center of the picture, regolith also appears to have filled, or "ponded," in low spots.

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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