Sunday, December 22, 2013

Antonia Crater

This colorized composite image from NASA's Dawn mission shows the crater Antonia, which lies in the enormous Rheasilvia basin in the southern hemisphere of the giant asteroid Vesta. The area lies around 58 degrees south latitude. Antonia has a diameter of 11 miles (17 kilometers).

The image was taken by Dawn's framing camera from September to October 2011.

The light blue material is fine-grain material excavated from the lower crust. The southern edge of the crater was buried by coarser material shortly after the crater formed. The dark blue of the southern crater rim is due to shadowing of the blocky material.

The composite image was created by assigning ratios of color information collected from several color filters in visible light and near-infrared light to maximize subtle differences in lithology (the physical characteristics of rock units, such as color, texture and composition). The color scheme pays special attention to the iron-rich mineral pyroxene.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLAMPS/DLR/IDA

Note: For more information, see Dawn Creates Guide to Vesta's Hidden Attractions.

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