This image from NASA's Dawn spacecraft shows craters with both sharp and smooth crater rims in asteroid Vesta's southern hemisphere. Detailed structure is seen more readily in the image with a smaller view at right.

These Dawn FC (framing camera) images show craters with both sharp and smooth crater rims in Vesta's southern hemisphere. The left image has a much wider field of view than the right image and displays the craters with both sharp and smooth rims in the bottom right of the image. Most of the other craters in this image either have sharp or smooth rims. The detailed structure of the sharp and smooth rimmed craters is seen in the right image, which has a smaller field of view and a higher resolution than the left image. Landsliding seems to be occurring on the smooth rims, which results in them losing a definite sharp rim. Dark and bright material is also seen slumping into the craters from their rims.

NASA's Dawn spacecraft obtained these images with its framing camera on August 29th and September 30th 2011. These images were taken through the camera's clear filter. The distance to the surface of Vesta is 2740km and 702km and the images have a resolution of about 250 meters and 63 meters per pixel respectively.

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. 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 Dawn is online at and

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