Highest Resolution Topography of 433 Eros and Implications for MUSES-CThe highest resolution observations of surface morphology and topography at asteroid 433 Eros were obtained by the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) Shoemaker spacecraft on 12 February 2001, as it landed within a ponded deposit on Eros. Coordinated observations were obtained by the imager and the laser rangefinder, at best image resolution of 1 cm/pixel and best topographic resolution of 0.4 m. The NEAR landing datasets provide unique information on rock size and height distributions and regolith processes. Rocks and soil can be distinguished photometrically, suggesting that bare rock is indeed exposed. The NEAR landing data are the only data at sufficient resolution to be relevant to hazard assessment on future landed missions to asteroids, such as the MUSES-C mission which will land on asteroid 25143 (1998 SF36) in order to obtain samples. In a typical region just outside the pond where NEAR landed, the areal coverage by resolved positive topographic features is 18%. At least one topographic feature in the vicinity of the NEAR landing site would have been hazardous for a spacecraft.
Cheng, A. F. (Johns Hopkins Univ. Laurel, MD, United States)
Barnouin-Jha, O. (Johns Hopkins Univ. Laurel, MD, United States)