The low sun elevation in this DAWN FC image enhances small topographic details near the rim of a crater on Vesta. While most of the crater is still in shadow, the sunlit part of the image scene reveals boulders, house-sized or even larger, which are recognizable by their bright sides toward the right, and shadows towards the left. The boulders were ejected when the crater was formed and emplaced near the crater rim. Also, numerous smaller craters are seen in this image.
The image was taken from a spacecraft altitude of 198 km in DAWN’s low orbit phase (LAMO) on Dec. 13, 2011. Image resolution is 19 m/pxl. The image is located at lat. 23.3° N, long. 20.4° E.
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://www.nasa.gov/dawn and http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA