Dawn on Vesta | Science News

ADVERTISEMENT

MISSION CRITICAL

Support credible science journalism.

Subscribe to Science News today.


News

Dawn on Vesta

New image from NASA asteroid mission

By
6:28pm, July 18, 2011

The first close-up image of a main-belt asteroid reveals a rocky world that sports a cratered surface, parallel grooves and jagged ridges. The photograph of Vesta was taken by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, which slipped into orbit around the second largest main-belt asteroid early in the morning of July 16 EDT.

Among other tasks, Dawn will spend a year helping astronomers precisely measure the asteroid’s mass and gravity, look for minimoons and make detailed maps from less than 200 kilometers above the pockmarked chunk of rock. Scientists think Vesta has one of the oldest remaining primordial surfaces in the solar system, and hope that its 4.5 billion-year-

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content