mrt 262013
 
The Moon and Vesta Share the Same Cosmic History

  The asteroid Vesta, and perhaps other large asteroids, have more in common with Earth’s Moon than previously thought, according to a team of researchers from the NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI). Both Vesta and the Moon appear to have been bombarded by the same population of high-speed projectiles four billion years ago. Scientists have [continue reading]

jan 052013
 
Carbon, a Building Block for Organic Molecules, in Vesta's Craters

  Large impacts of asteroids may have transferred carbonaceous material to the protoplanet and inner Solar System   The protoplanet Vesta has been witness to an eventful past: images taken by the framing camera onboard NASA’s space probe Dawn show two enormous craters in the southern hemisphere. The images were obtained during Dawn’s year-long visit [continue reading]

okt 132012
 
A Dynamo on Asteroid Vesta

  A meteorite found in Antarctica holds evidence of a once-active dynamo on Vesta. About 4.6 billion years ago, the Solar System was little more than a tenuous disk of gas and dust. In the span of merely 10 million years, this soup evolved to form today’s massive, complex planets. In the intervening period, however, [continue reading]

sep 212012
 
Dawn Sees Hydrated Minerals on Asteroid Vesta (with Video)

  Volatiles, or easily evaporated materials, have colored Vesta’s surface in a broad swath around its equator. This has been reported in two new papers based on observations from the low-altitude mapping orbit of the Dawn mission.  Asteroid Vesta. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA Pothole-like features mark some of the asteroid’s surface where the volatiles, likely water, released [continue reading]

aug 312012
 
Dawn Prepares for Trek Toward Dwarf Planet Ceres

  NASA’s Dawn spacecraft is on track to become the first probe to orbit and study two distant Solar System destinations, to help scientists answer questions about the formation of our Solar System. The spacecraft is scheduled to leave the giant asteroid Vesta on Sept. 4 PDT (Sept. 5 EDT) to start its two-and-a-half-year journey [continue reading]

jul 232012
 
Ancient Meteorites Give New Clues to the Early Solar System

  In order to understand Earth’s earliest history–its formation from Solar System material into the present-day layering of metal core and mantle, and crust–scientists look to meteorites. The diogenites originated deep within the crust of Vesta and resemble rocks, both in texture and composition, which we find in the lower crust of the Earth. The [continue reading]