This image of asteroid Eros, taken by NASA's NEAR Shoemaker on Aug. 6, 2000, shows several boulders catching the sunlight and appear like bright sentinels on the landscape.

This NEAR Shoemaker picture, taken August 6, 2000, from an orbital altitude of 49 kilometers (30 miles), shows Eros' horizon near the time of local sunset. The surface is dark because of the oblique illumination, but several boulders catch the sunlight and appear like bright sentinels on the landscape. The brightest of the boulders, just to the upper right of the deeply shadowed crater in the foreground, is about 30 meters (100 feet) across. The whole scene is about 2.2 kilometers (1.4 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.

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