This image from NASA's Dawn spacecraft shows the hummocky (wavy/undulating) terrain of Vesta's Rheasilvia quadrangle, which is the south polar region.
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Hummocky Terrain in Vesta's Rheasilvia Quadrangle

This Dawn FC (framing camera) image shows the hummocky (i.e., wavy/undulating) terrain of Vesta's Rheasilvia quadrangle, which is the south polar region. This hummocky terrain is clearly seen as the pattern of hills and depressions that extends across the image. Some of these hills terminate abruptly and have scarps (i.e., cliffs) along their margins. Due to the direction of sunlight in this image these scarps are visible as linear shadowed regions. There are also narrow, linear grooves running obliquely across the image, most noticeably in the top of the image. There is a range of crater sizes from less than 1km to around 15km in diameter. The smaller craters tend to be fresher with sharper rims and the larger craters tend to be more degraded with rounder rims. A large, roughly 10km diameter, crater in the top left of the image contains linear features which are probably due to slumping towards the center of the crater.

This image is in Vesta's Rheasilvia quadrangle and the center latitude and longitude of the image is 74.8°S, 207.4°E. NASA's Dawn spacecraft obtained this image with its framing camera on October 17th 2011. This image was taken through the camera's clear filter. The distance to the surface of Vesta is 702 km and the image has a resolution of about 70 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#:
PIA15080

Date added:
2011-11-15

Target:
Asteroid

Mission:
Dawn

Spacecraft:
Dawn

Instruments:
Framing Camera

Size:
1024 x 1024 pixels (width x height)

Rating:



Views:
2,367

Full-Res TIFF:
PIA15080.tif (1.05 MB)

Full-Res JPG:
PIA15080.jpg (0.18 MB)

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