Bright Rays from Canuleia Crater

Bright rays from Canuleia crater on asteroid Vesta

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March 21, 2012 - PASADENA, Calif. -- In this image from NASA's Dawn spacecraft, bright material extends out from the crater Canuleia on Vesta. The bright material appears to have been thrown out of the crater during the impact that created it.

Canuleia crater is located outside the rim of the Rheasilvia basin in the southern hemisphere, inside the quadrangle named for Urbinia crater. It is about 6 miles (10 kilometers) in diameter. The bright ejected material extends 12 to 19 miles (20 to 30 kilometers) beyond the crater's rim.

This image was obtained by Dawn's framing camera on Oct. 25, 2011, during high-altitude mapping orbit (on average 420 miles or 680 kilometers above the surface). This particular image was obtained at an altitude of 435 miles (700 kilometers). It covers about 2,000 square miles (5,000 square kilometers).

The Dawn mission to the asteroids 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. Dawn is a project of the directorate's Discovery Program, managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. UCLA is responsible for overall Dawn mission science. The Dawn Framing Cameras have been 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/JPL.

For more information about the Dawn mission, visit:

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA/UMD

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