This Dawn framing camera (FC) image of Vesta shows the sharp, fresh crater rim of a large crater that is only partly in the bottom right corner of this image. There are a number of areas of bright material slumping from the rim and near the rim of this crater towards its center. The area outside of this large crater is reasonably smooth, possibly because this area is covered in fine-grained ejecta that were ejected from the large crater as an impact formed it. There are also some small craters on top of this ejecta blanket and some narrow grooves that run diagonally across the image.
This image is located in Vesta’s Numisia quadrangle, near Vesta’s equator. NASA’s Dawn spacecraft obtained this image with its framing camera on Dec. 18, 2011. This image was taken through the camera’s clear filter. The distance to the surface of Vesta is 272 kilometers (169 miles) and the image has a resolution of about 25 meters (82 feet) per pixel. This image was acquired during the LAMO (low-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