This Dawn framing camera (FC) image of Vesta shows Fabia crater, which is the large crater offset to the bottom right of the center of the image. Fabia crater is very distinctive because the two sides of its rim have very different states of freshness. In this image the bottom part of the rim is distinct and fresh but the top part of the rim is much more rounded and degraded. This dichotomy between the rims is possibly due to material slumping over the top part of Fabia’s rim, which caused the rim to become obscured and look more degraded. There are linear features visible on the illuminated part of Fabia crater, which were probably created by material cascading towards the center of the crater. There is also a distinguishing band of bright material along the bottom rim of the crater.
This image is located in Vesta’s Numisia quadrangle, in Vesta’s northern hemisphere. NASA’s Dawn spacecraft obtained this image with its framing camera on Oct. 19, 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 63 meters (207 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