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This is the first image obtained by NASA's Dawn spacecraft after successfully entering orbit around Vesta.
This is the first image obtained by NASA's Dawn spacecraft after successfully entering orbit around Vesta.

Latest Image of Vesta captured by Dawn on July 17, 2011

This artist's animation depicts one of the most widely accepted theories pertaining to the origin of comets. This image is courtesy of NASA's Spitzer Science Center at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif.
This artist's animation depicts one of the most widely accepted theories pertaining to the origin of comets. This image is courtesy of NASA's Spitzer Science Center at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif.

Genesis of a Comet (Artist's Concept)

This image from NASA's Dawn spacecraft shows linear grooves and ridges in Vesta's regolith, located in Vesta's Tuccia quadrangle, in asteroid Vesta's southern hemisphere.
This image from NASA's Dawn spacecraft shows linear grooves and ridges in Vesta's regolith, located in Vesta's Tuccia quadrangle, in asteroid Vesta's southern hemisphere.

Patterns in Vesta's Regolith

A jagged horizon of the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko appears in this image taken by the navigation camera on the ESA's Rosetta spacecraft during the second half of October 2014.
A jagged horizon of the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko appears in this image taken by the navigation camera on the ESA's Rosetta spacecraft during the second half of October 2014.

Jagged Horizon on Rosetta's Destination Comet

This image from NASA's Dawn spacecraft shows Fabia crater, located in asteroid Vesta's Numisia quadrangle, in Vesta's northern hemisphere.
This image from NASA's Dawn spacecraft shows Fabia crater, located in asteroid Vesta's Numisia quadrangle, in Vesta's northern hemisphere.

Fabia Crater

NASA's Dawn spacecraft obtained this false-color image (right) of an impact crater in asteroid Vesta's equatorial region with its framing camera on July 25, 2011. The view on the left is from the camera's clear filter.
NASA's Dawn spacecraft obtained this false-color image (right) of an impact crater in asteroid Vesta's equatorial region with its framing camera on July 25, 2011. The view on the left is from the camera's clear filter.

False-Color Image of an Impact Crater on Vesta

This annotated image depicts four of the five potential landing sites for ESA's Rosetta mission's Philae lander.
This annotated image depicts four of the five potential landing sites for ESA's Rosetta mission's Philae lander.

Four Rosetta Candidate Landing Sites

This enhanced image, taken by the framing camera instrument aboard NASA's Dawn spacecraft on July 9, 2011, views the south polar region of this giant asteroid.
This enhanced image, taken by the framing camera instrument aboard NASA's Dawn spacecraft on July 9, 2011, views the south polar region of this giant asteroid.

An Enhanced View of Vesta's South Polar Region

This image shows the view from NASA's  Deep Impact's flyby spacecraft as it turned back to look at comet Tempel 1. Fifty minutes earlier, the spacecraft's probe was run over by the comet.
This image shows the view from NASA's  Deep Impact's flyby spacecraft as it turned back to look at comet Tempel 1. Fifty minutes earlier, the spacecraft's probe was run over by the comet.

Looking Back at a Job Well Done

A patch of relatively smooth ground on the nucleus surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko appears in this image taken by the navigation camera on the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft in October 2014.
A patch of relatively smooth ground on the nucleus surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko appears in this image taken by the navigation camera on the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft in October 2014.

Smooth Ground on Rosetta's Destination Comet

From the location where it came to rest after bounces, the Philae lander of the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission captured this view of a cliff on the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The feature is called 'Perihelion Cliff'.
From the location where it came to rest after bounces, the Philae lander of the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission captured this view of a cliff on the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The feature is called 'Perihelion Cliff'.

Philae Lander's View of 'Perihelion Cliff' on Comet Surface

This image shows Cornelia Crater on the large asteroid Vesta. On the right is an inset image showing an example of curved gullies, indicated by the short white arrows, and a fan-shaped deposit, indicated by long white arrows.
This image shows Cornelia Crater on the large asteroid Vesta. On the right is an inset image showing an example of curved gullies, indicated by the short white arrows, and a fan-shaped deposit, indicated by long white arrows.

Gully and Fan-Shaped Deposit on Vesta

These images from NASA's Dawn spacecraft are located in asteroid Vesta's Pinaria quadrangle, in Vesta's southern hemisphere.
These images from NASA's Dawn spacecraft are located in asteroid Vesta's Pinaria quadrangle, in Vesta's southern hemisphere.

HAMO and LAMO Images of Aquilia Crater

This image from NASA's Dawn mission shows huge grooves on the giant asteroid Vesta that were the result of mega impacts at the south pole.
This image from NASA's Dawn mission shows huge grooves on the giant asteroid Vesta that were the result of mega impacts at the south pole.

Huge Troughs on Vesta

This composite is a mosaic comprising four individual Rosetta NAVCAM images taken from 19 miles from the center of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
This composite is a mosaic comprising four individual Rosetta NAVCAM images taken from 19 miles from the center of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Rosetta Comet

The descent of its comet lander Philae was captured by ESA's Rosetta spacecraft's main camera as the lander approached -- and then rebounded off -- the comet's surface.
The descent of its comet lander Philae was captured by ESA's Rosetta spacecraft's main camera as the lander approached -- and then rebounded off -- the comet's surface.

Rosetta Lander Captured Before/After Bounce

These images from NASA's Dawn spacecraft are located in asteroid Vesta's Tuccia quadrangle, in Vesta's southern hemisphere.
These images from NASA's Dawn spacecraft are located in asteroid Vesta's Tuccia quadrangle, in Vesta's southern hemisphere.

Apparent Brightness and Topography Images of Antonia Crater

This image from NASA's Dawn spacecraft shows a part of asteroid Vesta's surface that is covered by heavily cratered regolith. Regolith is the fine-grained material that covers most of Vesta's surface.
This image from NASA's Dawn spacecraft shows a part of asteroid Vesta's surface that is covered by heavily cratered regolith. Regolith is the fine-grained material that covers most of Vesta's surface.

Surface Covered with Regolith and Craters

This image from NASA's Dawn mission reveals the creeping dawn over the north pole of the giant asteroid Vesta now that sunlight is shining over that area. The mosaic shows two large impact craters.
This image from NASA's Dawn mission reveals the creeping dawn over the north pole of the giant asteroid Vesta now that sunlight is shining over that area. The mosaic shows two large impact craters.

Dawn over the North

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was imaged by ESA's Rosetta spacecraft on July 20, 2014, from a distance of approximately 3,400 miles (5,500 kilometers). These three images were taken two hours apart.
Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was imaged by ESA's Rosetta spacecraft on July 20, 2014, from a distance of approximately 3,400 miles (5,500 kilometers). These three images were taken two hours apart.

Rosetta Approach Tripych: Comet 67P

This image from NASA's Dawn spacecraft shows a very shadowed region in Vesta's northern hemisphere. Roughly the upper one third of asteroid Vesta's northern hemisphere is currently in shadow.
This image from NASA's Dawn spacecraft shows a very shadowed region in Vesta's northern hemisphere. Roughly the upper one third of asteroid Vesta's northern hemisphere is currently in shadow.

A Part of Vesta's Shadowed Northern Hemisphere

These composite images from NASA's Dawn spacecraft show three views of a terrain with ridges and grooves near Aquilia crater in the southern hemisphere of the giant asteroid Vesta.
These composite images from NASA's Dawn spacecraft show three views of a terrain with ridges and grooves near Aquilia crater in the southern hemisphere of the giant asteroid Vesta.

Aquilia Area in Color

These images from NASA's Dawn spacecraft are located in asteroid Vesta's Lucaria Tholus quadrangle, in Vesta's northern hemisphere; the fine-scale of streaks of bright and dark material can be seen originating from the rim of Publicia crater.
These images from NASA's Dawn spacecraft are located in asteroid Vesta's Lucaria Tholus quadrangle, in Vesta's northern hemisphere; the fine-scale of streaks of bright and dark material can be seen originating from the rim of Publicia crater.

HAMO and LAMO Images of Publicia Crater

This image from NASA's Dawn spacecraft shows Arruntia crater, located in asteroid Vesta's Bellicia quadrangle, in Vesta's northern hemisphere.
This image from NASA's Dawn spacecraft shows Arruntia crater, located in asteroid Vesta's Bellicia quadrangle, in Vesta's northern hemisphere.

Arruntia Crater

These images from NASA's Dawn spacecraft show part of the ejecta blanket from Vesta's 'Snowman' craters in the northern hemisphere. The ejecta blanket fills the whole image and is identified by its hummocky yet smooth texture.
These images from NASA's Dawn spacecraft show part of the ejecta blanket from Vesta's 'Snowman' craters in the northern hemisphere. The ejecta blanket fills the whole image and is identified by its hummocky yet smooth texture.

Topography and Albedo Image of Hummocky-mantled Terrain on Vesta

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