Asteroid Steins was first imaged by ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft using the OSIRIS camera on 5 September 2008. Image stacking and processing by amateur astrophotographer Ted Stryk has enhanced the shadows in order to emphasise the difference between bright crater rims and their shadowed floors.
However, this technique can also create some artifacts, such as the illusion of boulders protruding from the surface, that are not present in the raw data.
In total, over 40 craters have been identified on the surface of Steins, the largest appearing at the ‘top’ of this frame being the 2 km-wide crater named Diamond. Craters on Steins are named after gems, following Stein’s appearance as a diamond shape.
This image was featured as Space Science Image of the Week on 18 February 2013.