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To prepare for the Dawn spacecraft's visit to Vesta, astronomers used Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 to snap new images of the asteroid. These images were taken on May 14 and 16, 2007. Each frame shows time in hours and minutes based on Vesta's 5.34-hour rotation period. Using Hubble, astronomers mapped Vesta's southern hemisphere, a region dominated by a giant impact crater formed by a collision billions of years ago. The crater is 285 miles (456 kilometers) across, which is nearly equal to Vesta's 330-mile (530-kilometer) diameter. Hubble's sharp eye can see features as small as about 37 miles (60 kilometers) across. The images show the difference in brightness and color on the asteroid's surface. These characteristics hint at the.
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