This Dawn Framing Camera (FC) image of Vesta shows Sossia crater, which is the crater partially surrounded by dark material near the bottom of the image. Sossia crater has a reasonably fresh rim and patches of dark material cropping out around part of this rim. This dark material spreads away from the rim of the crater and slumps down into the center of the crater. There is also an area of dark material associated with a smaller crater below Sossia’s rim. This smaller crater is almost completely filled by dark material. A much smaller amount of bright material also crops out from Sossia’s rim. Surrounding Sossia crater is the undulating terrain of Vesta’s southern hemisphere, which consists of curvilinear ridges and grooves.
This image is located in Vesta’s Urbinia quadrangle, in Vesta’s southern hemisphere. NASA’s Dawn spacecraft obtained this image with its framing camera on Oct. 25, 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 64 meters (210 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