Crater with dark and bright ejecta

January 27, 2012
Credit: NASA/ JPL-Caltech/ UCLA/ MPS/ DLR/ IDA

( -- This Dawn FC (framing camera) image is centered on a small, young, fresh crater with bright and dark ejecta rays extending from it. This image is a brightness image, which is taken directly through the clear filter of the FC, and shows the brightness and darkness of the surface. This crater is approximately 5km wide and its ejecta extends for up to 15 kilometers (9 miles). The ejecta rays outside of the crater are mostly bright. The dark ejecta rays mostly slump into the center of the crater, but there are some dark rays that extend for a few kilometers outside of the crater rim. This combination of bright and dark ejecta rays give the crater an impressively mottled appearance. There is dark and bright material located across Vesta but it is unusual to have a crater with both bright and dark ejecta rays.

These image is located in Vesta’s Tuccia quadrangle and the center of the image is 26.6 degrees south latitude, 220.4 degrees east longitude. NASA’s spacecraft obtained this image with its framing camera on Oct. 22, 2011. This image was taken through the camera’s clear filter. The distance to the surface of Vesta is 700 kilometers (435 miles) and the image has a resolution of about 70 meters (230 feet) per pixel. This image was acquired during the HAMO (high-altitude mapping orbit) phase of the mission.

The Dawn mission to 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.

Explore further: Dawn captures first image of nearing asteroid

Related Stories

Dawn captures first image of nearing asteroid

May 11, 2011

( -- NASA's Dawn spacecraft has obtained its first image of the giant asteroid Vesta, which will help fine-tune navigation during its approach. Dawn is expected to achieve orbit around Vesta on July 16, when the ...

Dawn beams back asteroid science data

August 12, 2011

( -- The Dawn spacecraft has completed a graceful spiral into the first of four planned science orbits during the spacecraft's yearlong visit to Vesta. The spacecraft started taking detailed observations on Aug. ...

New view of Vesta mountain from Dawn mission

October 11, 2011

( -- A new image from NASA's Dawn spacecraft shows a mountain three times as high as Mt. Everest, amidst the topography in the south polar region of the giant asteroid Vesta.

Dawn spacecraft spirals down to lowest orbit

December 13, 2011

( -- NASA's Dawn spacecraft successfully maneuvered into its closest orbit around the giant asteroid Vesta today, beginning a new phase of science observations. The spacecraft is now circling Vesta at an altitude ...

Recommended for you

Earth might have hairy dark matter

November 23, 2015

The solar system might be a lot hairier than we thought. A new study publishing this week in the Astrophysical Journal by Gary Prézeau of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, proposes the existence of ...

The hottest white dwarf in the Galaxy

November 25, 2015

Astronomers at the Universities of Tübingen and Potsdam have identified the hottest white dwarf ever discovered in our Galaxy. With a temperature of 250,000 degrees Celsius, this dying star at the outskirts of the Milky ...

Scientists detect stellar streams around Magellanic Clouds

November 23, 2015

(—Astronomers from the University of Cambridge, U.K., have detected a number of narrow streams and diffuse debris clouds around two nearby irregular dwarf galaxies called the Magellanic Clouds. The research also ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.