Asteroid Vesta as seen by NASA's Dawn spacecraft.


[00:00:01]We're seeing a shape model of Vesta created by the German Aerospace Center
[00:00:06]using images from Dawn's framing camera. Vesta is a large object in the main belt
[00:00:12]with a diameter of 575 kilometers and a shape which bulges at the equator.
[00:00:19]When we look at the south pole of Vesta, we see a large circular depression,
[00:00:25]which scientists believe was caused by collision with another object.
[00:00:30]This depression was also visible in Hubble Space Telescope images, but the features
[00:00:36]we see now are much more interesting. Flying over this feature, we see large cliffs,
[00:00:43]deep grooves and many types of liniments on the surface.
[00:00:49]In the northern region of Vesta, there's a large feature we term the 'snowman,'a series of young craters.
[00:00:56]There are also many variations in brightness on the surface. We see many small craters,
[00:01:07]grooves, and troughs, and bulges, as seen in this profile view near the equator of Vesta.
[00:01:17]There are deep troughs as well as smaller groove features and these are telling us something about
[00:01:27]the history of Vesta. Its collisions with other objects and how the material on its surface
[00:01:35]has responded. And while these views of this unexplored world are fascinating
[00:01:42]scientists are looking forward to the eight times higher resolution that will be obtained
[00:01:47]in October from a lower orbit.
[00:01:56]NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
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