Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sextilia Crater

This colorful image from NASA's Dawn mission shows material northwest of the crater Sextilia on the giant asteroid Vesta. Sextilia, located around 30 degrees south latitude, is at the bottom right of this image.

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

In this image, the entire color spectrum of Vesta becomes visible. While a large asteroid impact probably brought the black material, the red material may have been melted by the impact.

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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