NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has obtained the first images of Vesta from its low-altitude orbit, according to the mission’s website.
The images show the surface of this giant asteroid in detail never seen before.
At this close-up view, the images reveal the surface full of small craters and textures such as small grooves and lineaments.
Dawn mission scientists plan to acquire data in the low-altitude mapping orbit for at least 10 weeks.
The primary objectives of the spacecraft in this orbit are to learn about the elemental composition of Vesta’s surface with the gamma ray and neutron detector and to probe the interior structure of the asteroid by measuring the gravity field.