Diameter 578 km
359 mi.
Distance from primary 353,167,000 km
219,447,799 mi.
Nickname(s) Second Largest in the Asteroid Belt

Vesta is the second most massive body in the asteroid belt. It is unique among asteroids in that it has light and dark patches on the surface, much like the moon. Ground-based observations of Vesta determined that the asteroid has basaltic regions, meaning that lava once flowed across its surface. It has an irregular shape, roughly that of an oblate spheroid (in nontechnical terms, a somewhat smooshed sphere). The brightest asteroid in the sky, Vesta is occasionally visible from Earth with the naked eye.