Vesta resides in the asteroid belt—which is located roughly between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter—and NASA’s Dawn spacecraft been orbiting Vesta since July 15, 2011 obtaining high-resolution images of its bumpy, cratered surface. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has turned those images into a new 3-D video called “Soar Over Asteroid Vesta in 3-D.”
Best viewed with red-blue glasses, the video incorporates images from Dawn’s framing camera from July to August 2011. The images were obtained when Dawn was making its approach to Vesta, and while orbiting the giant asteroid at an altitude of about 1,700 miles. The video begins with a global view of Vesta from the plane of its equator, where a mysterious band of linear ridges and troughs can be seen. The movie cuts to a flyover of young craters in the northern hemisphere, whose peculiar alignment has led some scientists to refer to them as the “snowman.” Then the virtual tour of Vesta takes the viewer around a massive mountain at the south pole of Vesta that is about 16 miles high, or more than twice the height of Mt. Everest.
For taking viewers to where no one has gone before, JPL’s 3-D tour of Vesta is Government Video’s Website of the Week.
Click here to access the website.