Pitted terrain on Vesta and implications for the presence of volatiles

B. W. Denevi, D. T. Blewett, D. L. Buczkowski, F. Capaccioni, M. T. Capria, M. C. De Sanctis, W. B. Garry, R. W. Gaskell, L. Le Corre, J. Y. Li, S. Marchi, T. J. McCoy, A. Nathues, D. P. O'Brien, N. E. Petro, C. M. Pieters, F. Preusker, C. A. Raymond, V. Reddy, C. T. RussellP. Schenk, J. E C Scully, J. M. Sunshine, F. Tosi, David Williams, D. Wyrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

73 Scopus citations

Abstract

We investigated the origin of unusual pitted terrain on asteroid Vesta, revealed in images from the Dawn spacecraft. Pitted terrain is characterized by irregular rimless depressions found in and around several impact craters, with a distinct morphology not observed on other airless bodies. Similar terrain is associated with numerous martian craters, where pits are thought to form through degassing of volatile-bearing material heated by the impact. Pitted terrain on Vesta may have formed in a similar manner, which indicates that portions of the surface contain a relatively large volatile component. Exogenic materials, such as water-rich carbonaceous chondrites, may be the source of volatiles, suggesting that impactor materials are preserved locally in relatively high abundance on Vesta and that impactor composition has played an important role in shaping the asteroid's geology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)246-249
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume338
Issue number6104
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 12 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Pitted terrain on Vesta and implications for the presence of volatiles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Denevi, B. W., Blewett, D. T., Buczkowski, D. L., Capaccioni, F., Capria, M. T., De Sanctis, M. C., Garry, W. B., Gaskell, R. W., Le Corre, L., Li, J. Y., Marchi, S., McCoy, T. J., Nathues, A., O'Brien, D. P., Petro, N. E., Pieters, C. M., Preusker, F., Raymond, C. A., Reddy, V., ... Wyrick, D. (2012). Pitted terrain on Vesta and implications for the presence of volatiles. Science, 338(6104), 246-249. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1225374