This image from NASA's Dawn spacecraft shows a small, young, fresh crater on asteroid Vesta with bright and dark rays extending from it.
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Fresh Crater with Bright and Dark Rays

This Dawn FC (framing camera) image shows a small, young, fresh crater with bright and dark rays extending from it. This crater is located in the center of the image, it is approximately 5km wide and its rays extend for up to 10km. The bright and dark rays also slump into the center of this crater, giving it an impressively mottled appearance. To the left of this crater is a larger, older, more degraded crater into which some of the bright and dark rays appear to be slumping. There is one particularly clear white ray, flanked by two dark rays, which slumps from the edge of the degraded crater to its center, a distance of nearly 10km. Bright and dark material also slumps into another degraded crater in the lower right of the image. But in this case the source of the material seems to be the crater rim rather than a neighboring crater.

This image is in Vesta's Sextilia quadrangle and the center latitude and longitude of the image is 23.6°S, 128.3°E. NASA's Dawn spacecraft obtained this image with its framing camera on October 23th 2011. This image was taken through the camera's clear filter. The distance to the surface of Vesta is 675 km and the image has a resolution of about 63 meters 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. 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#:
PIA15045

Date added:
2011-11-11

Target:
Asteroid

Mission:
Dawn

Spacecraft:
Dawn

Instruments:
Framing Camera

Rating:



Views:
2,543

Full-Res TIFF:
PIA15045.tif (1.05 MB)

Full-Res JPG:
PIA15045.jpg (0.18 MB)

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