Vesta observation by Dawn. – NASA / JPL / MPS / DLR / IDA / Björn Jónsson
Related channels: ASTEROIDS, DAWN (NASA SPACECRAFT), DWARF PLANETS
Vesta: Asteroid or Dwarf Planet? | Video
NASA's Dawn mission currently orbiting Vesta has revealed signs of differentiation - a process where dense materials sink to the center and less dense rise to the surface. This is a characteristic of a terrestrial planets such as our own.
What Dawn Discovered on Vesta and Ceres
Dawn, the speedy ion-drive spacecraft, left Earth in 2007 bound for Vesta and Ceres in the Asteroid Belt. These are no ordinary asteroids. Scientists see them as tiny, still born planets. They sent Dawn out to fly around them, map them, and look for evidence that will transport them to very early days of our solar system.
Music by Epidemic Sound (http://www.epidemicsound.com)
Dawn Spacecraft's Farewell Portrait of Giant Asteroid Vesta
A simulated flyover of the most intriguing landmarks on giant asteroid
Vesta, as seen by NASA's Dawn spacecraft.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA Â Â Â âº Dawn's mission site
Take A Tour Of Vesta, The Giant Asteroid Explored By NASA's Dawn Spacecraft | Video
Explore the mountains, cliffs, and craters of Vesta, one of the largest asteroids in the solar system. The data for this simulated flyover was gathered by NASA's Dawn spacecraft, which will leave Vesta for the dwarf planet Ceres in September.
NASA's Dawn Defines Vesta's Role in Solar System History
During a NASA Television Science briefing, scientists discussed the findings of the first global analysis of the giant asteroid Vesta by NASA's Dawn spacecraft. The Dawn mission has confirmed Vesta's status as a special fossil of the early solar system and revealed a more varied, diverse world than originally thought. Dawn has shown Vesta is the only known intact, layered planetary building block with an iron core surviving from the earliest days of the solar system. It therefore more closely resembles a small planet or Earth's moon, not another asteroid.
This animation uses images from the Dawn spacecraft of the asteroid Vesta, showing this 500 km wide rock spinning.
Blog post with more info: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2011/08/01/vesta-in-breathtaking-detail/
NASA Dawn's Virtual Flight Over Asteroid Vesta
Ride aboard NASA's Dawn spacecraft on a virtual flyover of giant asteroid Vesta. Mission data was used to create the topography you see. Waypoints include: Divialia Fossa; Marcia crater, part of the "snowman" feature; and Aricia Tholus.
Ceres vs Vesta Water Accumulation
In several craters on dwarf planet Ceres, bright water ice deposits have been observed by Dawn's framing camera.
This finding suggests that water ice can be stored for significant amounts of time in cold, dark craters on Ceres. Such reservoirs are called "cold traps." At less than minus 260 degrees Fahrenheit (110 Kelvin), they are so chilly that very little of the ice turns into vapor in the course of a billion years.
The color scale gives hydrogen content in water-equivalent units, which assumes all of the hydrogen is in the form of H2O. Blue indicates where hydrogen content is higher, near the poles, while red indicates lower content at lower latitudes.
In reality, some of the hydrogen is in the form of water ice, while a portion of the hydrogen is in the form of hydrated minerals (such as OH, in serpentine group minerals). The color information is superimposed on shaded relief map for context.
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