A sharp-eyed reader noticed that a size comparison montage posted by the Dawn mission today included an image of Vesta that had not yet been released separately to the public, and it is a very cool one. It was taken at a different time of the Vestian day, with slightly more oblique lighting, and is very dramatic. Now that ridgy floor and central peak of the south polar impact basin look like a gigantic bug, or maybe a crab.
NASA / JPL-Caltech / UCLA / MPS / DLR / IDA
An image of Vesta from Dawn, acquired shortly after orbit insertion on July 15, 2011. This image was cropped out of this size comparison montage.
We know you love reading about space exploration, but did you know you can make it happen?
Consider a gift to our Space Policy and Advocacy program to fuel more missions, more science, and more exploration.