Reference Entry


Edited by Stephen O'Meara and E. Julius Dasch

in A Dictionary of Space Exploration

Third edition

Published online July 2018 | e-ISBN: 9780191842764

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An asteroid photographed by NASA's *NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft during a 25-minute fly-by in June 1997 at a distance of 1 200 km. Mathilde is a rocky, carbon-rich asteroid, one of the darkest objects in the Solar System, reflecting only 3.6% of the sunlight it receives. It is approximately 50 × 50 × 70 km in size, one-millionth the mass of the Moon, heavily cratered (five craters are larger than 20 km), and rotates only every 17.4 days. ...

Reference Entry.  113 words. 

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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