PHOTOS: Dawn gets best look yet of asteroid VestaBY STEPHEN CLARK
Posted: December 22, 2011
NASA's Dawn spacecraft has reached its closest approach to asteroid Vesta and is sending back sharp imagery showing new details of the body's airless, charcoal-colored surface.
NASA's Dawn spacecraft has spiraled closer and closer to the surface of the giant asteroid Vesta. These images were obtained by Dawn's framing camera in the three phases of its campaign since arriving at Vesta in mid-2011, showing the increased resolution of the imager as the probe moved closer to the asteroid.
This image, one of the first obtained by NASA's Dawn spacecraft in its low-altitude mapping orbit, shows part of the rim of a fresh crater on the giant asteroid Vesta. The terrain shown here is located in an area known as the Heavily Cratered Terrain in the northern hemisphere.
This image shows a part of one of the troughs at the equator of the giant asteroid Vesta. In the image, the floor of one of the equatorial troughs appears as the brighter deposit at the bottom of this image, contrasted against the darker band of the trough edge.
This image shows many buried craters located within the equatorial trough region of the giant asteroid Vesta. It is in an area that bears traces of the material thrown out by the impact that created the Rheasilvia basin in the asteroid's south polar region. Also visible are lineated features in a variety of shapes and sizes.
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