433 Eros

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433 Eros (pronounced /ˈɪərɒs/ IRR-os, or as Greek Ἔρως) is the first discovered near-Earth asteroid, named after the Greek god of love, Eros. It is an S-type asteroid approximately 34.4×11.2×11.2 km in size, the second-largest near-Earth asteroid (NEA) after 1036 Ganymed, belonging to the Amors. It is a Mars-crosser asteroid and was the first that was known to come within the orbit of Mars. Eros is one of the few NEAs with a maximum diameter greater than 10 km. It is believed to be larger than the impactor that created Chicxulub Crater in the Yucatán, which has been linked to the extinction of the dinosaurs.[4]

Eros was visited by the NEAR Shoemaker probe, which orbited it, taking extensive photographs of its surface, and, on February 12, 2001, at the end of its mission, landed on the asteroid's surface using its maneuvering jets.

Objects in such an orbit can remain there for only a few hundred million years before the orbit is perturbed by gravitational interactions. Simulations suggest that Eros may evolve into an Earth-crosser within 2 million years.[5]

The rarely used adjectival form of the name Eros is Erotian (pronounced /ɪˈroʊʃən/).


Physical characteristics

Surface gravity depends on the distance from a spot on the surface to the center of a body's mass. The Erotian surface gravity varies greatly, since Eros is not a sphere but an elongated peanut-shaped (or potato- or shoe-shaped) object. The daytime temperature on Eros can reach about 100 °C at perihelion. Nighttime measurements fall near -150 °C. Eros's density is 2,400 kg/m3, about the same as the density of Earth's crust. It rotates once every 5.27 hours.

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