Dawn mission

Herschel Discovers Water Vapor Spewing from Ceres

by Nancy Atkinson January 22, 2014

With the Dawn spacecraft now heading towards the dwarf planet/asteroid Ceres, the mission has suddenly gotten even more intriguing. The Herschel space observatory has discovered water vapor around Ceres, and the vapor could be emanating from water plumes — much like those that are on Saturn’s moon Enceladus – or it could be from cryovolcanism […]

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This Is What It Looks Like Hovering Above An Asteroid

by Elizabeth Howell September 12, 2013

Now’s your big chance to get up close and personal with Vesta, one of the largest asteroids in the solar system. A new atlas has been released based on 10,000 images from the Dawn mission‘s framing camera instrument, which took the pictures from an average altitude of about 131 miles (210 kilometers). Each map has […]

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5 Weird Things About Vesta

by Elizabeth Howell March 29, 2013

When Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers first glimpsed Vesta on March 29, 1807 — this date in history — the asteroid was but a small point of light. Asteroid science was very, very new at the time as the first asteroid (Ceres) had been discovered only six years before. Fast-forward 200-plus years and we can treat Vesta as […]

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Dawn’s Vestan Endeavour Exceptionally Exciting near End of Year-Long Super Science Survey

by Ken Kremer July 12, 2012

Image Caption: Divalia Fossa equatorial trough at Vesta pictured in side by side images showing apparent brightness and topography. The trough encircles most of Vesta and is located just south of the equator. It is about 10 kilometers (6 miles) wide. Rubria and Occia craters straddle Divalia Fossa. The image was snapped on Oct 16, […]

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Fly Over Vesta’s Cratered Terrain with Dawn

by Nancy Atkinson May 10, 2012

I’ve been waiting for nearly two months to be able to share these videos from the Dawn mission’s “flyover” views of Vesta. Scientists showed some of these incredible views at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in March, but couldn’t make them public until they published their work in the journal Science. “Vesta is unlike […]

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