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September 30, 2012
PASADENA, Calif. -- These Dawn FC (framing camera) images show Lucaria Tholus, after which Lucaria quadrangle is named. Lucaria Tholus is the large, roughly elliptically shaped hill in the center of the image. ‘Tholus’ is a geological word used to describe a hill or mountain. Lucaria is the only quadrangle not named after a crater or basin. The left image is an albedo image, which is taken directly through the clear filter of the FC. Such an image shows the albedo (eg. brightness/ darkness) of the surface. The right image uses the same albedo image as its base but then a color-coded height representation of the topography is overlain onto it. The topography is calculated from a set of images that were observed from different viewing directions, allowing stereo reconstruction. The various colors correspond to the height of the area. The white and red areas on Lucaria Tholus are the highest areas and the blue area at the bottom of the image is the lowest area. Lucaria Tholus has prominent topography (seen in the right image) and has dark material covering some of it (seen in the left image). These images are centered in Vesta’s Lucaria quadrangle and the center latitude and longitude of the image is 13.0°S, 103.6°E. NASA’s Dawn spacecraft obtained this image with its framing camera on October 26, 2011. This image was taken through the camera’s clear filter. The distance to the surface of Vesta is 700 km and the image has a resolution of about 70 meters per pixel. This image was acquired during the HAMO (High Altitude Mapping Orbit) phase of the mission. The images are lambert-azimuthal map projected. The Dawn mission to Vesta and Ceres is managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington D.C. UCLA is responsible for overall Dawn mission science. The Dawn framing cameras have been developed and built under the leadership of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany, with significant contributions by DLR German Aerospace Center, Institute of Planetary Research, Berlin, and in coordination with the Institute of Computer and Communication Network Engineering, Braunschweig. The Framing Camera project is funded by the Max Planck Society, DLR, and NASA/JPL. Image Credit: NASA/ JPL-Caltech/ UCLA/ MPS/ DLR/ IDA


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