The left-hand image is a Dawn FC (framing camera) image, which shows the apparent brightness of Vesta’s surface. The right-hand image is based on this apparent brightness image, which has had a color-coded height representation of the topography overlain onto it. The topography is calculated from a set of images that were observed from different viewing directions, which allows stereo reconstruction. The various colors correspond to the height of the area. The white and red areas in the topography image are the highest areas and the blue areas are the lowest areas. Scantia crater is the large crater that dominates the left side of the image. Scantia is on the northern edge of the Saturnalia Fossa trough. A part of Saturnalia Fossa appears in the bottom of this image and is colored blue and green. An area of smooth ejecta surrounds Scantia, which is a raised area in the topography image. There are interesting features visible inside of Scantia crater despite the fact that much of the inside of the crater is obscured by shadow. Two bright slumps of material are inside of Scantia crater and there are some boulders on the left side of Scantia crater.
These images are located in Vesta’s Floronia quadrangle, in Vesta’s northern hemisphere. NASA’s Dawn spacecraft obtained the apparent brightness image with its framing camera on Sept. 30, 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. These images are lambert-azimuthal map projected.
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