With a diameter of 516 km Vesta is the second largest asteroid in the asteroid belt, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. In 3.63 years it moves around the sun in a distance between 2.15 AE (perihelion) and 2.57 AE (aphelion). The rotation period is about 5.342 hours. Vesta has a triaxial ellipsoid shape with radii of 289, 280 and 229 km. The asteroid has a huge crater with 450 km in diameter at its south pole. Vesta is a differentiated body whose exterior has been resurfaced by basaltic lava flows. Because of the average density (3.7 g/cm ³) Vesta shows signs of a metallic core. So the asteroid has a similar composition as the terrestrial planets.