NASA's Dawn spacecraft beams back new photo

Jul 22, 2011
NASA's Dawn spacecraft obtained this image with its framing camera on July 18, 2011. It was taken from a distance of about 6,500 miles (10,500 kilometers) away from the protoplanet Vesta. The smallest detail visible is about 1.2 miles (2.0 km). Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

(PhysOrg.com) -- Dawn took this image during its current orbit of Vesta, traveling from the day side to the night side.

The large structure near the that showed up so prominently in previous images is visible in the center of the illuminated surface. Compared to other images, this one shows more of the surface beneath the spacecraft in the shadow of night. Vesta turns on its axis once every five hours and 20 minutes.

Dawn entered around on July 15, 2011, and will spend a year orbiting the body. After that, the next stop on its itinerary will be an encounter with the dwarf planet Ceres.

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GSwift7
5 / 5 (1) Jul 22, 2011
I wonder if that is a true color or B&W image? Notice how very monochromatic everyplace is except Earth? Even Mars is prety much the same color from top to bottom. Isn't it strange that even the giant volcano Olympus Mons is red? Volcanos here tend to be much darker, even black. The chemistry here on Earth that creates all the colors we take for granted seems to be a very unique feature in our solar system.
NameIsNotNick
5 / 5 (6) Jul 22, 2011
This is an anthropocentric observation. It is not surprising that our eyesight and ability to differentiate reflected light's frequency would be best suited to the place where we evolved. I do think it's a B&W though...
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) Jul 22, 2011
From the wiipedia site on the Dawn spacecraft
The framing camera uses 20 mm aperture, f/7.5 refractive optical system with a focal length of 150 mm.[34] A frame-transfer charge-coupled device (CCD), a Thomson TH7888A,[34] at the focal plane has 1024 × 1024 sensitive 93-rad pixels, yielding a wide field of view. An 8-position filter wheel permits panchromatic (clear filter) and spectrally selective imaging (7 narrow band filters). The broadest filter allows imaging from about 400 to 1050 nm.

So the camera is able to take color pictures (and also into the near infrared). I couldn't find exactly what kind of band filter was used for this particular photo.

Remember also that on earth the surface is subject to constant change (vegetation, weather/erosion, volcanic activity, ...) whereas on Mars or an asteroid stuff tends not to change for long times (so there's plenty of time for a layer of dust to settle on anything and give it a uniform color)
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Jul 22, 2011
From the wiipedia site on the Dawn spacecraft
The framing camera uses 20 mm aperture, f/7.5 refractive optical system with a focal length of 150 mm.[34] A frame-transfer charge-coupled device (CCD), a Thomson TH7888A,[34] at the focal plane has 1024 by 1024 sensitive 93-rad pixels, yielding a wide field of view. An 8-position filter wheel permits panchromatic (clear filter) and spectrally selective imaging (7 narrow band filters). The broadest filter allows imaging from about 400 to 1050 nm.

So the camera is able to make color pictures (and also into the near infrared). What kind of band filter was used for this particular photo I don't know.

Remember also that on earth the surface is subject to constant change (vegetation, erosion, volcanic activity, ...) whereas on Mars or an asteroid stuff tends not to change for long times (so there's plenty of time for a layer of dust to settle on anything and give it a uniform color)
xznofile
not rated yet Jul 22, 2011
there's a little man down there! I can see his mouth moving...
Jonseer
not rated yet Jul 22, 2011
Vesta has an Anus?
GSwift7
not rated yet Jul 23, 2011
This is an anthropocentric observation. It is not surprising that our eyesight and ability to differentiate reflected light's frequency would be best suited to the place where we evolved


Our eyes are tuned to Sol, so there's not a bias as long as your still here in the solar system. This asteroid is illuminted by the same star as Earth.
GSwift7
not rated yet Jul 23, 2011
thanks foor that antialias. Much appreciated input. We still don't know if they used the full color mode or a greyscale mode to enhance the pixel quality though.