This Dawn framing camera (FC) image of Vesta shows Serena crater, which is the large crater in the left middle of the image. The left side of the crater’s rim is much more degraded than the right side, which is much fresher. Areas of dark and bright material crop out from slightly under the rim and slump towards the center of the crater. The longest slump streaks are nearly 5 kilometers (3 miles) long in the crater that is approximately 19 kilometer (12 miles) in diameter. There is a mound of material in the center of the crater and many small craters scattered over Serena crater. There are other smaller craters distributed throughout the image, which also have bright and dark material associated with them.
This image is located in Vesta’s Sextilia quadrangle, in Vesta’s southern hemisphere. NASA’s Dawn spacecraft obtained this image with its framing camera on Oct. 28, 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