Friday, June 24, 2011

Coming Close to Vesta



Navigation camera movie of the approach to Vesta (Video Credit, NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/PSI).

Dawn and Hubble images of Vesta compared (Image Credit, NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/PSI).

The Dawn spacecraft is closing in on the asteroid Vesta. It should reach Vesta in early-Mid July and orbit the asteroid for a year, mapping and exploring it before visiting Ceres. Still over 180,000 Km away, this is the best views of this massive asteroid we have ever had.

From Earth, Vesta is a dot, but you can readily see it in binoculars, so it might be worth watching this world while the Dawn spacecraft approaches.

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