A multitude of high-resolution images collected by the NASA Dawn spacecraft have recently been pieced together, to form this amazing full-view of the asteroid Vesta, the largest in our solar system.
Dawn launched in September 2007, as the first mission destined to enter orbit around two different celestial bodies in the Inner Asteroid Belt (IAB), Vesta and the dwarf planet Ceres. The mission at the former began in July 2011, and ended in August 2012.
The image above, featuring a resolution of 500 meters (1,640 feet) per pixel, was collected on July 24, 2011, when the orbiter was located some 5,200 kilometers (3,200 miles) above the space rock's surface.
The photo shows the impact crater-riddled asteroid in all its splendor. Data from Dawn contributed to establishing that Vesta could have developed into a fully-fledged planet, had its growth not been stopped during the early history of the solar system.