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433 Eros

433 Eros
Orbital characteristics
Orbit type Near-Earth
Semimajor axis 1.45821 AU
Eccentricity 0.22290
Orbital period 1.76 years
Inclination 10.82948°
Physical characteristics
Diameter 13×13×33 km
Mass 7.2×1015 kg
Density 2.4 g/cm3
Rotation period 5h 16m
Spectral class S
Albedo 0.16
Discoverer Gustav Witt, 1898

The asteroid 433 Eros was named after the Greek god of love Eros. It is an S-type asteroid approximately 13 × 13 × 33 km in size, the second-largest near-Earth asteroid.

It was visited by the NEAR Shoemaker probe, which first orbited it taking extensive photographs of its surface and then in 2001 at the end of its mission was landed on the asteroid's surface using only its maneuvering jets.

Depending on where they stood on Eros, a person who weighed 200 pounds (90 kilograms) on Earth would weigh about two ounces on the asteroid. A rock tossed from the asteroid's surface at 22 miles an hour could escape into space. A basketball player with a 36-inch vertical leap could jump about a mile on Eros and risk putting himself in orbit.

Surface gravity depends on the distance from a spot on the surface to the center of a body's mass. The surface gravity on Eros varies a lot, since it is not a sphere but an elongated peanut-shaped (or potato-shaped, or shoe-shaped) object. The daytime temperature on Eros at about 100°C and nighttime measurements at -150°C. Eros's density is 2.4 g/cm3, about the same as the density of Earth's crust. It rotates once every 5.27 hours.

NEAR scientists have found that most of the larger rocks strewn across Eros were ejected from a single crater in a meteorite collision perhaps a billion years ago.

This picture of Eros, taken on February 14, 2000, shows the view looking from one end of the asteroid across the gouge on its underside and toward the opposite end. In this mosaic, constructed from two images taken after the NEAR spacecraft was inserted into orbit, features as small as 120 feet (35 meters) across can be seen. House-sized boulders are present in several places; one lies on the edge of the giant crater separating the two ends of the asteroid. A bright patch is visible on the asteroid in the top left-hand part of this image, and shallow troughs can be see just below this patch. The troughs run parallel to the asteroid's long dimension. Click on the image to see an enlarged version.

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