NASA's Dawn spacecraft shows the area surrounding the 'snowman craters' in asteroid Vesta's northern hemisphere.
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Topography of the 'Snowman Craters' and Surrounding Area

These Dawn FC (framing camera) images show the area surrounding the "snowman craters" in Vesta's northern hemisphere. The "snowman craters" and their ejecta blanket are in the left of the images and there are large troughs (linear depressions) running obliquely across the top of both images. The left image is an albedo image, which is taken directly through the clear filter of the FC. Such an image shows the albedo (eg. brightness/ darkness) of the surface. The right image uses the same albedo image as its base but then a color-coded height representation of the topography is overlain onto it. The various colors correspond to the height of the area that they color. For example, the white in the bottom of the right image is the highest area and the blue areas in the top of the right image are the lowest. The topography is calculated from a set of images that were observed from different viewing directions, these are called stereo images.

NASA's Dawn spacecraft obtained the albedo image with its framing camera on August 6th 2011. This image was taken through the camera's clear filter. The distance to the surface of Vesta is 2740 km the image has a resolution of about 250 meters per pixel. The images are projected using a lambert-azimuthal map projection.

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. Dawn's VIR was provided by ASI, the Italian Space Agency and is managed by INAF, Italy's National Institute for Astrophysics, in collaboration with Selex Galileo, where it was built.

More information about Dawn is online at http://www.nasa.gov/dawn and http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov.

Image details

ID#:
PIA14977

Date added:
2011-10-30

Target:
Asteroid

Mission:
Dawn

Spacecraft:
Dawn

Instruments:
Framing Camera

Size:
3150 x 1830 pixels (width x height)

Rating:



Views:
1,950

Full-Res TIFF:
PIA14977.tif (17.29 MB)

Full-Res JPG:
PIA14977.jpg (0.39 MB)

Image credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/ASI/INAF/IASF/IFSI