The Surface of an Asteroid

Craters and ridges abound on the surface of Vesta, the solar system’s second-largest asteroid.

Bright craters, dark craters… craters shaped like butterflies… they’re all represented here in a panorama made from images acquired by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, currently orbiting the 330-mile-wide asteroid Vesta.

I stitched two images together (using a third for gap fill-in) that were originally acquired by Dawn’s framing camera in October 2011 and released last week. This shows just some of the many surface features found on this ancient world.

Read more about this image here.