Vesta
Vesta Image from 5,200 kilometers
Image Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / UCLA / MPS / DLR / IDA
See also full rotation movie of Vesta.

The Dawn spacecraft has completed imaging of Vesta from an altitude of 5,200 kilometers and has begun spiraling down to an altitude of 2,700 kilometers for the first series of scientific observations.

Chris Russell, Dawn’s principal investigator at UCLA, notes:

We have been calling Vesta the smallest terrestrial planet. The latest imagery provides much justification for our expectations. They show that a variety of processes were once at work on the surface of Vesta and provide extensive evidence for Vesta’s planetary aspirations.

Below are additional images of Vesta from the 24 July collection.

Vesta
The “Snowman” on Vesta
Image Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / UCLA / MPS / DLR / IDA
Vesta
The Southern Hemisphere of Vesta with a multitude of craters
Image Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / UCLA / MPS / DLR / IDA

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