News Release Archive:

News Release 409 of 1051

June 20, 2007 10:30 AM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-2007-27

Hubble Images of Asteroids Help Astronomers Prepare for Spacecraft Visit


Video: Vesta Rotation Movie - Annotated

Running Time: 4 seconds

Astronomers used Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 to snap new images of the asteroid Vesta on May 14 and 16, 2007. Using Hubble, astronomers mapped Vesta's southern hemisphere, a region dominated by a giant impact crater formed by a collision billions of years ago. The crater is 295 miles across, which is nearly equal to Vesta's 330-mile diameter. This 20-frame movie shows widespread extensive global features as they rotate across the face of Vesta stretching longitudinally from the northern hemisphere to the southern hemisphere. Vesta rotates once about every 5.34 hours. The images hint at the large-scale features that will come into view when the Dawn spacecraft arrives at Vesta in 2011.

Credit: NASA, ESA, L. McFadden (University of Maryland) and G. Bacon (STScI)

Selected still images from this video (click to enlarge):

Release Videos

Vesta Rotation Movie - Unannotated Running Time: 4 seconds
Vesta Rotation Movie - Annotated Running Time: 4 seconds