These Dawn framing camera (FC) images of Vesta show Canuleia crater at both HAMO (high-altitude mapping orbit) and LAMO (low-altitude mapping orbit) resolutions. The left image is the HAMO image and the right image is the LAMO image. Canuleia is the large crater that dominates the LAMO image. The LAMO image is approximately 3 times better spatial resolution than the HAMO image. In images with higher spatial resolutions smaller objects can be better distinguished. The blocks of material slumping from Canuleia’s right rim can be seen much more clearly in the LAMO image than in the HAMO image. Also, tiny boulders in the bottom of Canuleia crater are resolved in the LAMO image. These boulders can be identified by the dark shadows they cast to the left. In the LAMO image boulders can also be resolved in the dark streak of material that runs across the left side of Canuleia and the area surrounding Canuleia. There is also more detail visible in the LAMO image of the intermingled dark and bright ejecta streaks surrounding Canuleia.
These images are located in Vesta’s Urbinia quadrangle, in Vesta’s southern hemisphere. NASA’s Dawn spacecraft obtained the left image with its framing camera on Oct. 27, 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 65 meters (213 feet) per pixel. This image was acquired during the HAMO (high-altitude mapping orbit) phase of the mission. NASA’s Dawn spacecraft obtained the right image with its framing camera on Dec. 29, 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 20 meters (66 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