This image, from NASA's Dawn spacecraft, shows rock material that has moved across the surface and flowed into a low area in the ridged floor of the Rheasilvia basin on asteroid Vesta.
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Flowing Material

This image, from NASA's Dawn spacecraft, shows rock material that has moved across the surface and flowed into a low area in the ridged floor of the Rheasilvia basin on Vesta. The image shows how impacts and their aftermath constantly reshape the landscape.

This image was acquired by Dawn's framing camera on Dec. 18, 2011, during its low-altitude mapping orbit (on average 130 miles or 210 kilometers above the surface). Rheasilvia is at the south pole of Vesta. This image is just to the southeast of the crater seen in Figs. 3 and 4. It covers an area of 284 square miles (735 square kilometers).

The Dawn mission to the asteroids 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. Dawn is a project of the directorate's Discovery Program, managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. UCLA is responsible for overall Dawn mission science. The Dawn Framing Cameras have been 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 the Dawn mission is online at http://www.nasa.gov/dawn and http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov.

Image details

ID#:
PIA15497

Date added:
2012-03-21

Target:
Vesta

Mission:
Dawn

Spacecraft:
Dawn

Instruments:
Framing Camera

Size:
721 x 720 pixels (width x height)

Rating:



Views:
2,092

Full-Res TIFF:
PIA15497.tif (0.52 MB)

Full-Res JPG:
PIA15497.jpg (0.07 MB)

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