Credit & Copyright: NEAR Project, JHU APL, NASAExplanation: Maybe the Moon owns our hearts, but this won't stop the occasional asteroid from sending us a valentine. Friday, to the surprise of many, the NEAR mission on approach to asteroid 433 EROS photographed what appears to be a heart-shaped depression. After NEAR reaches the asteroid today, NASA plans a series of maneuvers to make the robot spacecraft the first ever to orbit an asteroid. More detailed pictures will soon be taken of the 33 kilometer long asteroid EROS and this 5 kilometer long depression. Most likely, fortuitous lighting and viewing angles accentuate the apparent heart shape -- but don't tell the Moon.
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NASA Official: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.
Based on Astronomy Picture Of the Day
Publications with keywords: crater - 433 Eros - asteroid
Publications with words: crater - 433 Eros - asteroid