This close-up image of the Vinalia Faculae in Occator Crater was obtained by NASA's Dawn spacecraft in its second extended mission, from an altitude as low as 21 miles (34 kilometers). The contrast in resolution obtained by the two phases is visible here, reflected by a few gaps in the high-resolution coverage. This image is superposed to a similar scene acquired in the low-altitude mapping orbit of the mission from an altitude of about 240 miles (385 km).
This image reveals the intricate pattern between bright and dark material across this flow feature, which scientists will use to infer the history of this area, in particular the role of the fractures in the exposure of bright salts onto the surface.
The center of this picture is located at about 20.2 degrees north latitude and 242.0 degrees east longitude.
Dawn's mission is managed by JPL for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Dawn is a project of the directorates Discovery Program, managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. JPL is responsible for overall Dawn mission science. Orbital ATK Inc., in Dulles, Virginia, designed and built the spacecraft. The German Aerospace Center, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Italian Space Agency and Italian National Astrophysical Institute are international partners on the mission team.
For a complete list of Dawn mission participants, visit http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov/mission.
For more information about the Dawn mission, visit http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov.