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P.C. Thomas, J. Joseph, J.F. Bell III, J.F. Veverka, B. Clark (Cornell University), M. Robinson (Northwestern University), N. Izenberg, S. Murchie, L. Prockter, A. Cheng (Applied Physics Laboratory), L. McFadden (University of Maryland), C. Chapman (Southwest Research Institute)
The NEAR-Shoemaker spacecraft Multispectral Imager (MSI) has provided thousands of images of asteroid Eros, allowing accurate measurement of its shape, local topography, and documentation of the surface features at unprecedented resolutions. The asteroid has a bent, very elongate shape, with a volume of 2510 ±30 km3, and a range of radii, from the center of figure, of 3.1 to 17.7 km. The surface gravity, from the mass of Yeomans et al (2000) ranges from 0.22 to 0.56 cm s-2. Slope/area histograms match those of Ida, Phobos, and Deimos, suggesting overall shaping by similar, impact, processes. A variety of slope failures and regolith motion are shown in the MSI images; nearly all the surface is below the angle of repose (at scales of 300 m). The blocky nature of the surface, and the morphology of debris on slopes indicates mechanisms of regolith motion are different from those on Ida, Phobos, Deimos, and probably Mathilde.