This image of asteroid Eros taken on Oct. 26, 2000, by NASA's NEAR Shoemaker shows a surface covered in rocks of all sizes and shapes, set on a gently rounded surface. Other regions are smooth, suggesting accumulation of fine regolith.

This image mosaic was taken in the early hours of October 26, 2000, as NEAR Shoemaker made its low-altitude flyover of Eros. At the time of closest approach, the camera was looking at a region just 6.4 kilometers (4 miles) away. Much of the surface is covered in rocks of all sizes and shapes, set on a gently rounded surface. Other regions are smooth, suggesting accumulation of fine regolith. The smallest rocks seen are about 1.4 meters (5 feet) 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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