- Spacecraft has rendezvous with asteroid
More than 100 years after its discovery, scientists at Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., finally got a close view of asteroid 253 Mathilde.
A multispectral imager captured the images June 27 during a 25-minute flyby of the asteroid by the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous spacecraft. The images revealed a dark, crater-marked asteroid believed to date to the beginning of the solar system. Upon study of the images, scientists discovered at least five craters larger than 12 miles in diameter.
Asteroid 253 Mathilde ( left) reflects only percent of the sun's light.
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