Feeds

Vesta flashes charms to approaching Dawn

Impressive snap from NASA's asteroid voyeur

Intelligent flash storage arrays

NASA's Dawn spacecraft has returned an impressive snap of Vesta, as it prepares to enter orbit around the asteroid belt object.

Dawn's snap of Vesta. Pic: NASA

Snapped at an intimate 26,000 miles (41,000 kilometres), the image offers a tantalising glimpse of the second-largest object orbiting between Mars and Jupiter. Only Ceres surpasses Vesta's 530 kilometre (330 mile) diameter.

Dawn is due to go into orbit around the distant body later this evening at a distance of some 188 million kilometers (117 million miles) from Earth. Data gathered from observations of Vesta's basaltic rock surface will "help scientists understand the earliest chapter of our solar system's history", as NASA puts it.

The agency adds: "As the spacecraft gets closer, it will snap multi-angle images, allowing scientists to produce topographic maps. Dawn will later orbit at approximately 200 kilometres (120 miles) to perform other measurements and obtain closer shots of parts of the surface. Dawn will remain in orbit around Vesta for one year."

Once it's had its close encounter with Vesta, Dawn will head off for a 2015 meeting with Ceres, the dwarf planet which measures an impressive 975 by 909 kilometres (606 by 565 miles). ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
NASA rover Curiosity drills HOLE in MARS 'GOLF COURSE'
Joins 'traffic light' and perfect stony sphere on the Red Planet
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
Relive the death of Earth over and over again in Extinction Game
Apocalypse now, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that ...
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.