April Fool's Crater
October 23, 2009
Lighting and viewing geometries make a huge difference in the appearance of Eros' surface features. One of the most striking examples is the 2.7-kilometer (1.68-mile) diameter crater shown in these two images. The image at left, looking at the crater nearly edge-on, was taken February 16, 2000, from a range of 341 kilometers (212 miles). The image at right was taken high over the crater on March 2, 2000, from a range of 226 kilometers (140 miles). In the first image the only visible part of the crater's interior is the far, bright wall, which at the time was well-lit. The lighting, in combination with the particular viewing angle, make the crater appear stunningly bright. In the second view, the brighter material occupies only part of the slightly-shaded interior, greatly reducing the overall brightness contrast between the crater and the surrounding terrain.