Crater or mountain?

Lunar craterLunar crater

What do you see when you look at the two pictures above? To some people, the image on the left looks as though it contains domed mountains whereas the one of the right looks like it is covered in craters. Actually, both the images are of the same landscape but the one on the left has been turned upside down. What you are seeing is an optical illusion caused by our perception of distance. In pictures taken 'the right way up', the bottom is usually nearer and the top is further away but for the image on the left, the top is nearer and the bottom further away. This plays tricks on the brain causing it to incorrectly interpret what it is seeing. The effect has been causing some people to get very confused when looking at images taken by ESAs SMART-1. Note: these images aren't actually from SMART-1!

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Sunday 27th Mar 2005 (21:57 UTC) | Permalink
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