This image of asteroid Eros, taken by NASA's NEAR Shoemaker on Jan. 1, 2001, shows a large fresh crater near the top of the frame exhibiting a bowl shape with a relatively well-defined, sharp rim. A degraded crater below it is puckered by smaller craters.

NEAR Shoemaker captured this picture of two similarly sized craters in different states of preservation on January 1, 2001, from an orbital altitude of 35 kilometers (22 miles). The large "fresh" crater near the top of the frame exhibits a bowl shape with a relatively well-defined, sharp rim. The "degraded" one below it is puckered by smaller craters and probably partly buried by regolith, so the crisp detail visible in the top crater has been lost. The whole scene is about 0.9 kilometers (0.6 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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