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Artwork depicting Asteroid Eros heading for Earth

Artwork depicting Asteroid Eros heading for Earth

R310/0046

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Eros approaching Earth. Artwork of Asteroid 466 Eros on a collision course with planet Earth. Eros is currently in an orbit controlled by the gravity of Mars. However, calculations by Italian mathematician Paolo Farinella in 1996 showed that Eros could be perturbed from this orbit into an Earth-crossing orbit; indeed it might collide with Earth. The impact of the 22-km diameter asteroid would be cataclysmic: most of life on Earth would be destroyed. Eros was visited by the NEAR-Shoemaker spacecraft in February 2000, which mapped it and then crash-landed gently onto its surface, allowing its composition to be determined.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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