This Dawn framing camera (FC) image of Vesta shows Antonia crater, which is the crater below the center of the image that is roughly 17 kilometers (10.6 miles) in diameter. Antonia’s rim has two different states of freshness: the bottom left one-third of the rim is very degraded but the other two-thirds of the rim is reasonably fresh. The very degraded rim is due to this part of the crater being covered by debris. There is also a distinctive line running across Antonia’s base that marks the boundary of the debris with the rest of the crater. It is thought that the debris was deposited in this location, following the impact that formed Antonia, because Antonia formed on a sloping surface. There are other craters on Vesta that look like Antonia, which are also located on slopes.
This image is located in Vesta’s Tuccia quadrangle, near Vesta’s south pole. NASA’s Dawn spacecraft obtained this image with its framing camera on Oct. 24, 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 68 meters (223 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