The Importance of Lighting
October 23, 2009
The way in which Eros' craters are illuminated makes a big difference in their appearance in images from NEAR Shoemaker. This image was taken March 8, 2000, from a range of 205 kilometers (127 miles). In the foreground, craters are obliquely illuminated. The brightness differences between Sun-facing and shaded slopes bring out the morphologic details in the asteroid's surface. In the background the Sun is nearly overhead, and the lack of shadows makes details appear subdued. But these "high-Sun" conditions bring out inherent brightness differences in surface materials, such as the bright walls in the four craters near the center of the image.