These images were obtained by the Dawn spacecraft on July 23, 2011. The bottom two images are false-color, where different colors represent visible and infrared light wavelengths. Scientists are studying these images to better understand the different materials on the surface. The Visible and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer is an imaging spectrometer, provided by the Italian Space Agency and Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, capable of delivering detailed images in 864 spectral bands.
Blue represents wavelengths of 438 to 653 nanometers, red represents wavelengths of 438 to 750 nanometers, and green represents wavelengths of 653 to 917 nanometers.
The Dawn mission to Vesta and Ceres is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. It is a project of the Discovery Program, managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala. UCLA is responsible for overall Dawn mission science. Orbital Sciences Corporation of Dulles, Va., designed and built the Dawn spacecraft. The German Aerospace Center, the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, the Italian Space Agency and the Italian National Astrophysical Institute are part of the mission team. More information about Dawn is online at http://www.nasa.gov/dawn.