This detail of a Dawn FC (framing camera) image shows dark colored mountains (top of the image) in the northern region of Vesta. The origin of such mountains is currently being investigated. The largest crater, near the center of the image, contains both bright and dark material. This material, also visible in many of the other craters, mostly crops out from the crater rims and then slumps towards the crater's centers. The bottom part of the image includes many areas of dark material, several of which are not associated with any impact structures visible at this resolution. Better resolution images are necessary to understand the origin of this 'unassociated' dark material.
NASA's Dawn spacecraft obtained this image with its framing camera on August 14th 2011. This image was taken through the camera's clear filter. The distance to the surface is 2740km and the image resolution is about 260 meters per pixel.
The Dawn mission to Vesta and Ceres is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif., for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. UCLA is responsible for overall Dawn mission science. The Dawn framing cameras were 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.