Mount Everest may have the tallest peak on Earth but it stands small next to a mountain that has been discovered in the south polar region of the giant asteroid Vesta.

New photographs captured by NASA's Dawn spacecraft have revealed a mountain three times as big as Mount Everest with a peak rising up to 13 miles (22 kilometers) above its terrain. The mountain is almost as tall as Olympus Mons on Mars, the highest mountain and volcano in the solar system, with a peak of 15 miles (24 kilometers) above the surface.

The new image was created using data from a shape model of Vesta and depicts a tilted view of the rough topography of the south polar region where the mountain was found. While the topography can be seen clearly in the 300 meters per pixel image, it leaves out the overall curvature of the asteroid. A person standing at the point of the image wouldn't be able to see the mountain in the distance due to the asteroids curves, In the same way that someone on Earth placed on that point wouldn't be able to see Mount Everest.

The mountain on Vesta wasn't the only highlight of Dawn's recent findings. A large scarp slope was sighted on the right side of the image, with land around it that scientists believe formed as a result of landslides.

NASA's Dawn spacecraft launched in 2007 and entered Vesta's orbit in July 2011 but it is only recently that it has got so close with an average distance from the spacecraft to the Vesta surface at 420 miles (680 kilometers). Dawn started sending new data on Sept. 30 from its high altitude-mapping orbit-a high frequency orbit that allows Dawn to circle Vesta more than 60 times over 10 days.

Scientists will now work to combine data with pictures to create topographic maps, Vesta's illuminated surface in color, stereo data, and acquire visible and infrared mapping spectrometer data.

The main mission of NASA's Dawn spacecraft venture is to address the role of size and water in the evolution of planets. The project focuses on Ceres and Vesta, as they are the largest of the protoplanets, whose growth was interrupted by the formation of Jupiter.