Asteroid 253 Mathilde
This image mosaic of asteroid 253 Mathilde is constructed from four images
acquired by the NEAR spacecraft on June 27, 1997. This was taken from a
distance of 2,400 km (1,500 miles). Sunlight is coming from the upper right.
The part of the asteroid shown is about 59 by 47 km (36 by 29 miles) across.
Details as small as 380 meters (1,250 feet) can be discerned. The surface
exhibits many large craters, including the deeply shadowed one at the center,
which is estimated to be more than 10 kilometers (6 miles) deep. The shadowed,
wedge-shaped feature at the lower right is another large crater viewed
obliquely. The angular shape of the upper left limb of the asteroid results
from the rim of a third large crater viewed edge-on. The bright mountainous
feature at the far left may be the rim of a fourth large crater emerging from
the shadow. The angular shape is believed to result from a violent history of
Image and caption from the
mission web-site (1997 July 15).