Tonight's Sky
Sun
Sun
Moon
Moon
Mercury
Mercury
Venus
Venus
Mars
Mars
Jupiter
Jupiter
Saturn
Saturn

Tonight's Sky — Change location

OR

Searching...

Tonight's Sky — Select location

Tonight's Sky — Enter coordinates

° '
° '

Dawn obtains first low-altitude images of Vesta

The primary science objectives in this orbit are to learn about Vesta’s surface composition and to probe the interior structure of the asteroid by measuring its gravity.
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has sent back the first images of the giant asteroid Vesta from its low-altitude mapping orbit. The images, obtained by the framing camera, show the stippled and lumpy surface in detail never seen before, piquing the curiosity of scientists who are studying Vesta for clues about the solar system’s early history.

At this resolution, the surface shows abundant small craters and textures such as small grooves and lineaments reminiscent of the structures seen in low-resolution data from the higher-altitude orbits. Also, this fine scale highlights small outcrops of bright and dark material.

You’ll find a gallery of images online:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/dawn/multimedia/gallery-index.html

Dawn returned the images to Earth December 13. Mission scientists plan to acquire data in the low-altitude mapping orbit for at least 10 weeks. The primary science objectives in this orbit are to learn about Vesta’s surface composition with the gamma-ray and neutron detector and to probe the interior structure of the asteroid by measuring its gravity.

Vesta
NASA's Dawn spacecraft has spiraled closer and closer to the surface of the giant asteroid Vesta. NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has sent back the first images of the giant asteroid Vesta from its low-altitude mapping orbit. The images, obtained by the framing camera, show the stippled and lumpy surface in detail never seen before, piquing the curiosity of scientists who are studying Vesta for clues about the solar system’s early history.

At this resolution, the surface shows abundant small craters and textures such as small grooves and lineaments reminiscent of the structures seen in low-resolution data from the higher-altitude orbits. Also, this fine scale highlights small outcrops of bright and dark material.

You’ll find a gallery of images online:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/dawn/multimedia/gallery-index.html

Dawn returned the images to Earth December 13. Mission scientists plan to acquire data in the low-altitude mapping orbit for at least 10 weeks. The primary science objectives in this orbit are to learn about Vesta’s surface composition with the gamma-ray and neutron detector and to probe the interior structure of the asteroid by measuring its gravity.

0

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Read and share your comments on this article
Comment on this article
Want to leave a comment?
Only registered members of Astronomy.com are allowed to comment on this article. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.

Login or Register now.
0 comments
ADVERTISEMENT

FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTER

Receive news, sky-event information, observing tips, and more from Astronomy's weekly email newsletter.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
BoxProductcovernov

Click here to receive a FREE e-Guide exclusively from Astronomy magazine.

Find us on Facebook

Loading...