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A grand asteroid tour

Remote spacecraft and Earth-based radar give us views of these solar system wanderers their discoverers only dreamed about.
Through an amateur astronomer's telescope, an asteroid or "minor planet" looks like a mere fly speck on the vast wall of the cosmos — if you are lucky enough even find such a fly speck. But when spacecraft send back close-up images, we begin to appreciate the diversity of sizes and shapes that asteroids assume. Here is a tour of some of the best-imaged asteroids in the solar system.433 ErosThis image is a mosaic of images snapped by the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) spacecraft Nove...

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