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Hubble image of the asteroid Vesta

Hubble image of the asteroid Vesta

R310/0050

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Credit

NASA / ESA / STSCI / B.ZELLNER, GSU / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / ESA / STSCI / B.ZELLNER, GSU / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Vesta asteroid. Hubble Space Telescope image of the asteroid Vesta. The asteroid's south pole (lo- wer centre) has been flattened, suggesting that it has experienced a major impact with another object in the past. Vesta orbits the Sun between the orbits of Mars & Jupiter at an average distance of 353 million kilometres (2.36 times the radius of Earth's orbit). It is the third largest asteroid, having a diameter of about 538 kilometres. Under favourable conditions, it is the only asteroid visible to the naked eye. Image taken by Hubble at a distance of 176 million kilometres in May 1996; the image resolution is 9.6 kilometres.

Release details

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