This Dawn FC (framing camera) image is centered on Vibidia crater, which is roughly 10 kilometers (6 miles) in diameter. There is a distinctive distribution of bright and dark material around Vibidia crater. There are bright rays that extend for roughly 15 kilometers (9 miles) in a circular pattern around Vibidia. These rays cut across older craters and some younger craters have been formed on top of them. The dark rays are mostly inside of the crater and some extend for short distances outside of the crater rim.
This image is located in Vesta’s Tuccia quadrangle and the center of the image is 26.6 degrees south latitude, 220.4 degrees east longitude. NASA’s Dawn spacecraft obtained this image with its framing camera on Oct. 21, 2011. This image was taken through the camera’s clear filter. The distance to the surface of Vesta is 700 kilometers (435 miles) and the image has a resolution of about 70 meters (230 feet) 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