This image from NASA's Dawn spacecraft shows a young crater on Vesta that is 9 miles (15 kilometers) in diameter. Layering is visible in the crater walls, as are large boulders that were thrown out in the material ejected from the impact. The ejected material likely once resided deep within Vesta, since this crater formed within the deep Rheasilvia impact basin. It may provide clues to Vesta's composition at depth.
This image was obtained by Dawn's framing camera image was acquired on Dec. 21, 2011, during Dawn's low-altitude mapping orbit (on average 130 miles or 210 kilometers above the surface). Rheasilvia is located at the south pole of Vesta. The image covers an area of 260 square miles (670 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.