A Full View Of The Gigantic Asteroid Vesta

A Full View Of The Gigantic Asteroid Vesta

At 531.1km in diameter, Vesta is the second most massive object in the asteroid belt. NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has been orbiting it for some time now, but it’s finally generated an image which shows the asteroid in all its glory.

Dawn is the first man-made object to visit the asteroid belt, and this image is made up of a mosaic of images acquired between July 2011 and September 2012. NASA explains what you can see:

The towering mountain at the south pole — more than twice the height of Mount Everest — is visible at the bottom of the image. The set of three craters known as the “snowman” can be seen at the top left.

Dawn is now en route to its second destination, Ceres, and you can see an archive of all the data it’s acquiring here. [NASA]