The crater on asteroid Vesta shown in this image from NASA's Dawn spacecraft was emplaced onto the ejecta blanket of two large twin craters. Commonly, rays from impact craters are brighter than the surrounding surface.

This Dawn FC (framing camera) image shows a fresh dark rayed crater in the center of the image. This crater is 1.7 km in diameter. Commonly, rays from impact craters are brighter than the surrounding surface, so further study on this, and other, dark rayed craters will be important. This crater was emplaced onto the ejecta blanket of two large twin craters. The bright, uneven rim of one of the twin craters is seen to the right of the dark rayed crater. This ejecta blanket covers most of the Vestan surface visible in this image and is identified by its smooth texture compared to the rest of Vesta. Some craters which are older than the ejecta blanket can be partially seen below it as shallow, roughly circular depressions.

NASA's Dawn spacecraft obtained this image with its framing camera on October 2nd 2011. This image was taken through the camera's clear filter. The distance to the surface of Vesta is 659km and the image resolution is about 66 meters per pixel.

The Dawn mission to Vesta and Ceres is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif., for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. UCLA is responsible for overall Dawn mission science. The Dawn framing cameras were 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://www.nasa.gov/dawn and http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov.

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