Hubble and Dawn Views of Vesta
These views of the protoplanet Vesta were obtained by NASA's Dawn spacecraft and NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. The image from Dawn, on the left, is a little more than twice as sharp as the image from Hubble, on the right. The image from Hubble, which is in orbit around the Earth, was obtained on May 14, 2007, when Vesta was 109 million miles (176 million kilometers) away from Earth. Dawn's image was taken on June 20, 2011, when Dawn was about 117,000 miles (189,000 kilometers) away from Vesta.
Vesta is the second-most massive object in the main asteroid belt. Dawn has not yet arrived at Vesta. Vesta is expected to capture the spacecraft into its orbit on July 16. Official science gathering begins in early August.
The Dawn mission is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., for the agency's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Dawn is a project of the directorate's Discovery Program, managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. UCLA is responsible for overall Dawn mission science. Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Va., designed and built the Dawn spacecraft. The framing cameras were developed and built under the leadership of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany. The German Aerospace Center (DLR) Institute of Planetary Research in Berlin made significant contributions in coordination with the Institute of Computer and Communication Network Engineering in Braunschweig. The framing camera project is funded by the Max Planck Society, DLR and NASA. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. For more information about Dawn, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/dawn and http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov .
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/PSI and NASA/ESA/STScI/UMd