Feeds

Vesta flashes charms to approaching Dawn

Impressive snap from NASA's asteroid voyeur

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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). ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
Simon's says quantum computing will work
Boffins blast algorithm with half a dozen qubits
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?