This Dawn FC (framing camera) image shows a small, young, fresh crater with bright and dark rays extending from it. This crater is located in the center of the image, it is approximately 5km wide and its rays extend for up to 10km. The bright and dark rays also slump into the center of this crater, giving it an impressively mottled appearance. To the left of this crater is a larger, older, more degraded crater into which some of the bright and dark rays appear to be slumping. There is one particularly clear white ray, flanked by two dark rays, which slumps from the edge of the degraded crater to its center, a distance of nearly 10km. Bright and dark material also slumps into another degraded crater in the lower right of the image. But in this case the source of the material seems to be the crater rim rather than a neighboring crater.
This image is in Vesta’s Sextilia quadrangle and the center latitude and longitude of the image is 23.6°S, 128.3°E. NASA’s Dawn spacecraft obtained this image with its framing camera on October 23th 2011. This image was taken through the camera’s clear filter. The distance to the surface of Vesta is 675 km and the image has a resolution of about 63 meters per pixel. This image was acquired during the HAMO (High Altitude Mapping Orbit) phase of the mission.
The Dawn mission to Vesta and Ceres is managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington D.C.. UCLA is responsible for overall Dawn mission science. The Dawn framing cameras have been developed and built under the leadership of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany, with significant contributions by DLR German Aerospace Center, Institute of Planetary Research, Berlin, and in coordination with the Institute of Computer and Communication Network Engineering, Braunschweig. The Framing Camera project is funded by the Max Planck Society, DLR, and NASA/JPL.
More information about Dawn is online at http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA