Inside the giant gouge on Eros

Inside the giant gouge on Eros

. This mosaic is composed of images taken from the NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft on 15 February 2000, while the spacecraft was passing directly over the large gouge in the surface of the asteroid 433 Eros. Many narrow parallel troughs closely follow the shape of the gouge. Most of the asteroidís surface is saturated with impact craters. Inside the gouge, however, only smaller craters are present, indicating that the area within the gouge is younger than the nearby surface. So the event that caused the gouge must have happened more recently than the formation of the rest of the surface of Eros. (Courtesy of NASA and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University