Feeds

Dawn eyes Vesta's full-frontal charms

Revealing snap of Clangers' asteroid homeworld

Intelligent flash storage arrays

NASA has released the first "full-frame" image of asteroid Vesta, an impressive view of the Clanger homeworld captured by the Dawn spacecraft on 24 July at a distance of roughly 3,200 miles (5,200 kilometres).

Dawn's full-frame image of Vesta. Pic: NASA

Marc Rayman, Dawn's chief engineer, enthused: "Now that we are in orbit around one of the last unexplored worlds in the inner solar system, we can see that it's a unique and fascinating place."

Jim Green, planetary division director at NASA HQ, agreed. He said: "The new observations of Vesta are an inspirational reminder of the wonders unveiled through ongoing exploration of our solar system."

Dawn is now poised to carry out four "intensive science orbits" of the asteroid belt giant, kicking off on 11 August at an altitude of 1,700 miles (2,700 kilometres) above Vesta's 330 mile (530 kilometre) diameter bulk.

NASA explains that as well as cameras, the spacecraft is packing instruments including "the gamma ray and neutron detector and the visible and infrared mapping spectrometer".

The agency elaborates: "The gamma ray and neutron detector uses 21 sensors with a very wide field of view to measure the energy of subatomic particles emitted by the elements in the upper yard (meter) of the asteroid's surface.

"The visible and infrared mapping spectrometer will measure the surface mineralogy of both Vesta and Dawn's next target, the dwarf planet Ceres."

Dawn is due to depart Vesta after a year, heading off to a 2015 rendezvous with Ceres – the largest asteroid belt object, measuring an imposing 606 by 565 miles (975 by 909 kilometres). ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
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.
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?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.