This Dawn FC (framing camera) image shows a close up image of two of the craters that make up the three ‘Snowman’ craters: Calpurnia, which is the larger crater in the bottom of the image, and Minucia, which is the smaller crater in the top of the image. The terrain to the right of the craters is smooth because it is made of fine-grained ejecta. The ejected material was thrown out of these craters just after they were formed by impact of material into Vesta. There are also areas of secondary craters in the ejecta blanket. These are clusters of small, less than 1-kilometer-diamater (0.6-mile-diameter) craters, which are scattered throughout the ejecta blanket. These secondary craters were formed when larger debris, thrown out at the same time as the ejecta, hit the surface.
This image is located in Vesta’s Marcia quadrangle and the center of the image is 14.2 degrees north latitude, 207.1 degrees east longitude. NASA’s Dawn spacecraft obtained this image with its framing camera on Oct. 28, 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