These Dawn framing camera (FC) images of Vesta show Cornelia crater at both HAMO (high-altitude mapping orbit) and LAMO (low-altitude mapping orbit) resolutions. The left image is the HAMO image and the right image is the LAMO image. Cornelia crater fills almost the entire LAMO image. The LAMO image is approximately three times better spatial resolution than the HAMO image. In images with higher spatial resolutions smaller objects can be better distinguished. Cornelia crater contains spectacular bright and dark material, which is visible in both the HAMO and LAMO images. There are different layers of bright material visible on the left side of the crater wall in the LAMO image. These layers are slumping towards the crater's center and there is slightly brighter material overlying slightly less bright material. It is interesting to note from the LAMO image that there are small patches of dark material within this bright material. The detail of the large slump that originates from the top rim of Cornelia is also much clearer in the LAMO image.
These images are located in Vesta's Numisia quadrangle, in Vesta's southern hemisphere. NASA's Dawn spacecraft obtained the left image with its framing camera on Oct. 31, 2011. This image was taken through the camera's clear filter. The distance to the surface of Vesta is 700 kilometers (435 miles) and the image has a resolution of about 62 meters (203 feet) per pixel. This image was acquired during the HAMO (high-altitude mapping orbit) phase of the mission. NASA's Dawn spacecraft obtained the right image with its framing camera on Jan. 11, 2012. This image was taken through the camera's clear filter. The distance to the surface of Vesta is 272 kilometers (169 miles) and the image has a resolution of about 19 meters (62 feet) per pixel. This image was acquired during the LAMO (low-altitude mapping orbit) phase of the mission.
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 D.C. 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.
More information about Dawn is online at http://www.nasa.gov/dawn and http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov.