Data collected by the NASA Dawn space probe indicated a short time ago that Vesta – its mission target and the largest asteroid in the solar system – houses the largest mountain ever discovered. Now, new data show the landscape feature from a different perspective.
The mountain on Vesta is roughly 13 miles (21 kilometers) tall, which makes is about three times taller than Mount Everest. Astronomers also suspect that it dwarfs Olympus Mons, the Martian volcano that held the title for the solar system's tallest volcanic mountain until now.
Using Dawn's instruments, mission controllers at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
(JPL), in Pasadena, California, were able to capture this oblique perspective view of the topography at Vesta's south pole.
“The image resolution is about 300 meters per pixel, and the vertical scale is 1.5 times that of the horizontal scale,” a press released from the Lab explains.