Astronomy Picture of the Day
December 28, 2012

Farewell to 4-Vesta
Farewell to 4-Vesta

Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA and Dr Paolo C. Fienga for the additional process. and color.

This frame is taken from the very last sequence of images of the Giant Asteroid 4-Vesta, and it was obtained by the NASA - Dawn Spacecraft as it was departing from the Asteroid itself. When the NASA - Dawn Spacecraft arrived near 4-Vesta, in July 2011, the Northern Regions of the Asteroid were in the darkness, but now, after more than one year, the sunlight has now made it to 4-Vesta's North Pole, which is well visible is in the middle of the image (where a series of three large Impact Craters lie, just near the Terminator Line). This image was taken by Dawn's Framing Camera on August, 26, 2012. The NASA - Dawn Spacrecraft escaped from 4-Vesta's orbit on September 4, 2012 PDT (such as September 5, 2012, CET).

This frame (which is an Original NASA - Dawn Spacecraft b/w image published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 15675) has been additionally processed and then colorized, according to an informed speculation carried out by Dr Paolo C. Fienga (LXTT-IPF), in Absolute Natural Colors (such as the colors that a human eye would actually perceive if someone were onboard the NASA - Dawn Spacecraft and then looked outside, towards the Giant Asteroid 4-Vesta), by using an original technique created - and, in time, dramatically improved - by the Lunar Explorer Italia Team. Different colors, as well as different shades of the same color, mean, among others, the existence of different Elements present on the Surface of 4-Vesta, each having a different Albedo (---> Reflectivity) and Chemical Composition.

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