Articles about dawn

Mars' twisty magnetic tail

Once more, with feeling: Dawn to take a closer look at Ceres

NASA's Dawn spacecraft has received another reprieve, with its mission to dwarf planet Ceres extended for another, closer, flyby. The probe has orbited Ceres since March 2015 and has already revealed a 4,000 metre high mountain that's evidence of cryovolcanism on the dwarf planet. The science is good enough – as is Dawn's …
Ahuna Mons on Ceres

Alien studs on dwarf's erection baffle boffins

Pics NASA has released images of a smooth-sided dome three miles (five kilometres) high, studded with bright reflective spots, on the surface of the dwarf planet Ceres. The pictures of the feature – dubbed Ahuna Mons – were sent back by NASA's Dawn probe, which has just completed its first year in orbit around Ceres – a strange …
Iain Thomson, 7 Mar 2016

NASA photos: Dawn's December deep-dive haul arrives on Earth

It takes a long time to send high-quality pics down a pipe as skinny as NASA's Dawn space probe has to use: images from its December approach of Ceres are only now emerging. The agency says the images, at 35 metres per pixel, pick out science-worthy detail of the Kupalo Crater, Dantu Crater, and a 32-km crater west of Dantu. …

After eight years, NASA's Dawn probe brings Ceres into closest focus

More than a thousand times farther from Earth than the moon, farther even than the Sun, an extraordinary extraterrestrial expedition is taking place. NASA’s Dawn spacecraft is exploring dwarf planet Ceres, which orbits the Sun between Mars and Jupiter. The probe has just reached the closest point it ever will, and is now …
Marc D Rayman, 29 Dec 2015

Ceres' salty history hints at bright spot origin

When the Dawn mission's first photographs arrived from Ceres, everyone from scientist to conspiracist got excited about the bright spots. Now, scientists say the spots are a kind of salt that hint at subsurface water ice on the object. An analysis led by boffins from the Max Planck Institute concludes that the strong …

ALIENS on CERES? Nope – it's just dwarf's tucked away MOIST BITS

The presence of an alien base on Ceres has seemingly been ruled out by NASA, which has released an improved image of mysterious bright spots on the asteroid belt dwarf planet. The Dawn spacecraft first spied the features in the Occator crater back in June, when they appeared as glowing masses. Occator crater The mystery of …
Lester Haines, 10 Sep 2015

NASA's Dawn gets intimate with Ceres

NASA's Dawn spacecraft has sent earthwards its "closest-yet views" of dwarf planet Ceres. Dawn is currently at an orbital altitude of 1,470km above the asteroid belt body, with its framing camera snapping at a resolution of 140 metres per pixel. Among the pictures on offer is the Gaue crater, seen here at the bottom of the …
Lester Haines, 25 Aug 2015
Ceres' bright spots  Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

Dawn falling late: NASA's other glitch of the week

While the world was distracted by New Horizons' brief woes, NASA also had to put its Dawn spacecraft into a holding pattern to work out a software glitch. Dawn, which is fascinating the world with its shots of Ceres – and exciting boffins and conspiracists alike with its shots of the dwarf planet's bright spots, is currently …
Ceres' bright spots  Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA


The two bright patches on dwarf planet Ceres have been spotted again by NASA astroboffins. The patches baffled boffins who didn't expect the worldlet to shine so bright, or indeed shine much at all. Tinfoil-hatters quickly came up with all sorts of theories about the patches, especially after NASA had nothing to say about them …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Apr 2015

DWARF PLANET Ceres beams back SUNNY north pole FROWN

In the build up to NASA's first science orbit of dwarf planet Ceres later this month, the agency's spacecraft Dawn has been capturing stunning images of the extraterrestrial body. Astroboffins have released an impressive animation of Ceres, after it was snapped from a distance of 21,000 (33,000 kilometres) on 10 April. NASA …
Kelly Fiveash, 18 Apr 2015

Will NASA's Dawn spot ALIEN LIFE on asteroid belt dwarf world Ceres?

Vid + Pic After seven years, and more than three billion miles of travel, the Dawn spacecraft has been captured by the gravity of the Solar System's dwarf planet Ceres. The NASA probe entered a stable orbit at 0439 PST (1239 UTC) on Friday. "We feel exhilarated," said Chris Russell, principal investigator of the Dawn mission at the …
Iain Thomson, 6 Mar 2015

Spotty Ceres baffles boffins with bright patches

The Dawn spacecraft sent by NASA to investigate the asteroid belt's largest bodies has spotted a second bright spot on the surface of Ceres, sparking speculation that the dwarf planet might be significantly stranger than first thought. Dawn is slowly approaching Ceres using its ion drive to match orbits, and its latest …
Iain Thomson, 26 Feb 2015
The Register breaking news

Dawn probe slips Vesta's grip, heads for icy dwarf planet

NASA's Dawn spacecraft has left the gravitational pull of the giant asteroid Vesta behind after over a year of study and is rocketing towards the dwarf planet Ceres. The satellite, launched in September 2007, has been exploring and mapping Vesta for the first time, showing agency boffins an exotic and diverse building block …
The Register breaking news

Secrets of the asteroid belt: Vesta actually more like a planet

New images of the asteroid Vesta captured by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft indicate it’s more like a planet than a dead rock. Different rocks and minerals on the surface of Vesta Different rocks and minerals on the surface of Vesta. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA Vesta is a unique asteroid because of the wide variety …
The Register breaking news

NASA releases asteroid flyby video from Dawn probe

NASA has released a new video showing Vesta, giant queen of the asteroid belt, in unprecedented detail. One of the highlights of the new data, collected by NASA's ion-engine space probe dawn in orbit around the mighty space boulder, is an espceially precipitous region located at the body's south pole. The space agency …
Lewis Page, 19 Sep 2011
The Register breaking news

Dawn eyes Vesta's full-frontal charms

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 …
Lester Haines, 2 Aug 2011
The Register breaking news

Dawn creeps closer to Clanger homeworld Vesta

NASA's Dawn spacecraft has returned another fine snap of Clanger homeworld Vesta – the substantial asteroid belt object seen here on 23 July from a distance of around 3,200 miles (5,200 kilometres): Dawn image of Vesta's dark side. Pic: NASA NASA elaborates: "Dawn took this image over Vesta's northern hemisphere after the …
Lester Haines, 1 Aug 2011
The Register breaking news

First snap of giant asteroid Vesta from orbiting probe

NASA's Dawn asteroid hunter has returned the first photo of Vesta since achieving orbit around the giant object at the end of last week. The snap (big version here) was grabbed at a distance of 9,900 miles (16,000 kilometres), and shows Vesta's impressive 530 kilometre (330 mile) diameter bulk beginning to come into focus. …
Lester Haines, 19 Jul 2011

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