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Spacecraft has rendezvous with asteroid

Photonics Spectra
Aug 1997
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.


Asteroid 253 Mathilde ( left) reflects only percent of the sun's light.
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.


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