Saturnalia Fossa

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Saturnalia Fossa runs obliquely near the terminator at upper right of this full view of Vesta, with nearby grooves parallel to it.

Saturnalia Fossa /sætərˈnliə ˈfɒsə/ is the largest of the series of parallel Veneneian troughs in the northern hemisphere of the giant asteroid 4 Vesta. It is estimated to be approx. 39 km wide and is at least 365 km long; as of early 2012, one end disappeared in shadow and its total length was thus unknown. It is thought to be a shock fractures resulting from the impact that created Veneneia crater, which it is concentric with.[1] It is one of the longer chasms in the Solar System, and is named after the Roman festival of Saturnalia.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Exploration of Saturnalia Fossa and associated structures in Vesta's northern hemisphere, Paper No. 152-12, 2012 GSA Annual Meeting in Charlotte (4–7 November 2012)
  2. ^ IAU/USGS (NASA coordinates)