Tag Archives: vesta

Map of the asteroid Vesta

Geological map of the asteroid Vesta
Geological map of the asteroid Vesta

In the fall of 2007, NASA launched a significant discovery mission to study Vesta and Ceres in the asteroid belt. The Dawn spacecraft mission has been going strong and studying these objects using its on-board instruments. This virtual map of the protoplanet Vesta shows various geological features and unifies 15 individual quadrangle maps. Here is a breakdown of the different coloured areas:

  • Brown – believed to be the oldest and most cratered
  • Purple(s) – affected by the Veneneia impact
  • Blue(s) – affected by the Rheasilvia impact
  • Greens and yellows – relatively young landslides

Craters on the asteroid Vesta

Vesta is one of the largest asteroids in our Solar System and has been the subject of study by JPL’s Dawn mission.

Vesta - NASA
Twin impact craters on the Vesta asteroid

The surface of Vesta is pockmarked with impact craters. The two pictured above range from about 20 kilometers and 6 kilometers in diameter and are found in Vesta’s Urbinia quadrangle. This image was taken by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, through the clear filter of its framing camera on December 18, 2011. Dawn was about 260 kilometers from the surface and in the low-altitude mapping orbit phase of its mission mission to study this asteroid Vesta and the dwarf planet Ceres.