The Ups and Downs of Eros
The shape, density and spin of the asteroid Eros combine to create a bizarre pattern of what is "uphill" and "downhill," as shown in this image from the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) spacecraft. In this view, a map of "gravitational topography" has been painted onto a shape model. Red areas are "uphill" and blue areas are "downhill." A ball dropped onto one of the red spots would try to roll across the nearest green area to the nearest blue area.
NEAR touched down on Eros on February 12, 2001, after transmitting 69 close-up images of the surface during its final descent.
Image Credit: NASA/JHU/APL