This Dawn FC (framing camera) image shows Tarpeia crater. Tarpeia is roughly 30 kilometers (18 miles) in diameter and has a sharp, fresh rim surrounding it. It is an irregularly shaped crater and on the left side some bright material is seen slumping from the rim towards the Tarpeia’s base. There are many small craters less than 1 kilometer (0.6 mile) in diameter within Tarpeia. These small craters must be younger than Tarpeia because otherwise the formation of Tarpeia would have destroyed them. Tarpeia is located in the ridged and grooved terrain of Vesta’s southern hemisphere and these ridges and grooves are seen running obliquely across this image.
This image is located in Vesta’s Rheasilvia quadrangle, near Vesta’s south pole. NASA’s Dawn spacecraft obtained this image with its framing camera on Oct. 18, 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.
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