This closeup of asteroid Vesta from NASA's Dawn spacecraft shows small scale features such as grabens (linear depressions) which run parallel to and inside the troughs.
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Equatorial Troughs and Dark Material II

This Dawn FC (framing camera) image is a close up, nearly 4 times higher resolution view of Vesta's equatorial troughs and dark material than yesterday's Image of the Day. Smaller scale features become visible in this image, for example the grabens (linear depressions) which run parallel to and inside the troughs. These troughs run obliquely across the top of the image. Also visible are craters which are only a few pixels across. This corresponds to a diameter of roughly 100-200km. The shape and structure of the dark hill (offset from center of image) can also be more precisely defined in this image. The dark material surrounding this hill is roughly lobate in shape and the boundary between this material and Vesta's surface is rather irregular.

NASA's Dawn spacecraft obtained this image with its framing camera on September 20th 2011. This image was taken through the camera's clear filter. The distance to the surface of Vesta is 673 km 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.

Image details

ID#:
PIA14956

Date added:
2011-10-17

Target:
Asteroid

Mission:
Dawn

Spacecraft:
Dawn

Instruments:
Framing Camera

Rating:



Views:
2,051

Full-Res TIFF:
PIA14956.tif (1.05 MB)

Full-Res JPG:
PIA14956.jpg (0.18 MB)

Image credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA