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Vesta-HST-Colour.jpg(300 × 300 pixels, file size: 50 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg)
Description To prepare for the Dawn spacecraft's visit to Vesta, astronomers used Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 to snap new images of the asteroid. The image was taken on May 14 and 16, 2007. Using Hubble, astronomers mapped Vesta's southern hemisphere, a region dominated by a giant impact crater formed by a collision about a billion years ago. The crater is 285 miles (456 kilometers) across, which is nearly equal to Vesta's 330-mile (530-kilometer) diameter. If Earth had a crater of proportional size, it would fill the Pacific Ocean basin. The impact broke off chunks of rock, producing more than 50 smaller asteroids that astronomers have nicknamed "vestoids." The collision also may have blasted through Vesta's crust. Vesta is about the size of Arizona.
Date Images taken 2007 May 14 and 16
Author NASA; ESA; L. McFadden and J.Y. Li (University of Maryland, College Park); M. Mutchler and Z. Levay (Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore); P. Thomas (Cornell University); J. Parker and E.F. Young (Southwest Research Institute); and C.T. Russell and B. Schmidt (University of California, Los Angeles)
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