Science and Technology News

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Taking Tarpeia's Temperature

This colorized image from NASA’s Dawn mission shows temperature variations at Tarpeia Crater, near the south pole of the giant asteroid Vesta. Obtained by the visible and infrared mapping spectrometer, data show the warmest areas in white, measuring about minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 23 degrees Celsius). The dark areas are the coldest, with temperatures at or below minus 150 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 100 degrees Celsius).

The variations in the red shading indicate the intensity of the emitted light in the 5-micron wavelength, which is indicative of the surface temperature.

The visible and infrared mapping spectrometer obtained the images during Dawn’s low-altitude mapping orbit (130 miles or 210 kilometers in altitude) on Feb. 5, 2012.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/INAF

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