Feeds

Dawn eyes Vesta's full-frontal charms

Revealing snap of Clangers' asteroid homeworld

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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). ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE
Shanghai to San Fran in two hours would be a trick, though
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.