SPHERE images of Hygiea, Vesta and Ceres

New observations with ESO’s SPHERE instrument on the Very Large Telescope have revealed that the surface of Hygiea lacks the very large impact crater that scientists expected to see on its surface. Since it was formed from one of the largest impacts in the history of the asteroid belt, they were expecting to find at least one large, deep impact basin, similar to the one on Vesta (bottom right in the central panel).

The new study also found that Hygiea is spherical, potentially taking the crown from Ceres as the smallest dwarf planet in the Solar System. The team used the SPHERE observations to constrain Hygiea’s size, putting its diameter at just over 430 km, while Ceres is close to 950 km in size.

Credit:

ESO/P. Vernazza et al., L. Jorda et al./MISTRAL algorithm (ONERA/CNRS)

About the Image

Id:eso1918b
Type:Collage
Release date:28 October 2019, 17:00
Related releases:eso1918
Size:3513 x 1471 px

About the Object

Name:Ceres, Hygiea, Vesta
Type:Solar System : Interplanetary Body : Dwarf planet
Category:Solar System

Image Formats

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242.9 KB
Screensize JPEG
52.6 KB

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