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comparison of topographic maps of Vesta from Hubble Space Telescope and Dawn spacecraft

Comparing Vesta's Topography

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These two images compare topographic maps of the giant asteroid Vesta as discerned by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope (top) and as seen by NASA's Dawn spacecraft (bottom). Hubble has been in an orbit around Earth, while Dawn orbited Vesta from 2011 to 2012. While the total relief (from the highest point to the lowest point) in the Hubble data is calculated to be only 15 miles (24 km) compared to the higher-resolution Dawn data that indicate a total relief of 26 miles (41 km), the relative topography is remarkably consistent between the two data sets.

The Dawn mission to Vesta and Ceres is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. The University of California, Los Angeles, is responsible for overall Dawn mission science. The Dawn framing cameras were developed and built under the leadership of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany, with significant contributions by DLR German Aerospace Center, Institute of Planetary Research, Berlin, and in coordination with the Institute of Computer and Communication Network Engineering, Braunschweig. The framing camera project is funded by the Max Planck Society, DLR and NASA.

Image credit: NASA/ESA/Cornell and NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

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