Astronomy Picture of the Day



NEAR at Eros: Before Touchdown

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#66894 by @ 13.02.2005 00:00 - nach oben -
NEAR at Eros: Before Touchdown


Explanation:

On 12 February, 2001, the
NEAR-Shoemaker
spacecraft gently
touched-down on the surface of Eros -- the
first ever landing
on an asteroid
.

During the descent, the spacecraft's camera recorded
successive
images
of the
diminutive world's surface, revealing fractured boulders,
dust filled craters, and a mysterious collapsed channel.

The
last frame
, seen in the above montage at the far left, was
taken at a range of 128 meters.

Expanded in the inset, it shows surface features
a few centimeters across.

Stereo
experimenter
Patrick Vantuyne, constructed this montage from the
final images in the landing sequence, carefully identifying the
overlapping areas in successive frames.

Frames which overlap were taken by the spacecraft from
slightly different
viewpoints,
allowing Vantuyne
to construct close-up stereo images
of the surface of
asteroid 433 Eros.




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