This is the Dawn Space Probe's View of Vesta

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Now in orbit around the giant asteroid Vesta, NASA’s Dawn space probe has sent back this incredible image of the protoplanet’s pockmarked surface. Though the probe has only just arrived and has yet to begin its lower science survey orbit some 1,700 miles above the surface of Vesta, its already sending back some amazing images.

Of particular interest to scientists is the large impact crater on the southern end of Vesta. It’s believed that a violent impact in the planetoid’s distant past broke off several large chunks which still orbit nearby. Moreover, the cataclysm shot debris across the solar system, with chunks of Vesta apparently accounting for 5% of asteroids found on Earth. Since bits of Vesta have already been to Earth, it’s only fair that a little bit of Earth takes a look at Vesta.

(via Universe Today)

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