|Asteroid Vesta is home to some of the most impressive cliffs in the Solar System.
Pictured above near the image center is a very
deep cliff running about 20 kilometers from top to bottom.
The image was taken by the
robotic Dawn spacecraft
that began orbiting the
500-kilometer space rock earlier this year.
The topography of the
and its surroundings indicates that huge landslides may have occurred
down this slope.
The scarp's origin remains unknown, but parts of the cliff face itself must be quite old as several craters have appeared in it since it was created.
Dawn has now finished up its high altitude mapping survey and will spiral down to a lower altitude orbit to better explore the asteroid's
>Dawn is scheduled to blast away from
Vesta and begin a long journey to the only asteroid belt object known to be larger:
MPS, DLR, IDA