NASA's Dawn spacecraft beams back new photo

July 22, 2011 in Astronomy & Space / Space Exploration
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

( -- 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.

Provided by JPL/NASA

"NASA's Dawn spacecraft beams back new photo" July 22, 2011