NEAR spacecraft image of the Mathilde 253 asteroid

NEAR spacecraft image of the Mathilde 253 asteroid

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Credit: NASA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Asteroid 253 Mathilde. NEAR (Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous) spacecraft image of Asteroid 253 Mathilde. Mathilde is about 59 by 47 kilometres (km) across. It is the commonest type (C-class) of asteroid, its carbonaceous chondritic rocks ref- lecting only 3.6% of the light that falls on it. Its surface is marked by many large impact crat- ers; the shadowed crater (at centre) is about 10 km deep. Mathilde orbits the Sun in the asteroid belt at distances of 290-500 million kilometres (2-3.5 times the radius of Earth's orbit). Its orbit is 4.3 years long and it rotates about once every 17 days. Image taken on 27 June 1997 at a distance of 2400 km & a resolution of 380 metres.

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Keywords: 253 mathilde, asteroid, asteroid mathild, astronomy, cosmology, mathilde 253, mathilde 253 asteroid, near imagery

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