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More Dawn Vesta approach images: First color views

Emily Lakdawalla • February 17, 2012

On June 30, Dawn stopped thrusting for a full Vestian day -- five hours and 20 minutes -- and just watched the asteroid rotate. But unlike the previous observations, they used all of Dawn's color filters to acquire the best-ever color photos of the lumpy world.

Dawn images of Vesta! Released!! For everyone!!!

Emily Lakdawalla • February 14, 2012

Some time in the last few days, the Dawn team made public the first preliminary version of the first release of their data from the Vesta phase of their mission.

Notes on Dawn at Vesta from the 2011 American Geophysical Union meeting

Emily Lakdawalla • December 08, 2011

A report on the press briefing and talks from the Fall 2011 American Geophyisical Union meeting about the data on Vesta collected so far by Dawn.

What do Dawn's color ratio images of Vesta mean?

Emily Lakdawalla • November 01, 2011

The Dawn mission to Vesta continues to release an image every day, and recently they have been releasing lots of color images. I like color pictures for aesthetic reasons, but color is actually a very important property of planetary surfaces.

Science from Vesta at the Geological Society of America meeting

Emily Lakdawalla • October 24, 2011

I'm nearly two weeks late getting to this news but better late than never, right? There was a press briefing from the Dawn mission at the Geological Society of America (GSA) meeting on October 12.

Lovely pic of a recent crater on Vesta

Emily Lakdawalla • October 11, 2011

With little fanfare, the Dawn mission continues releasing a new picture from Vesta every day. This one is definitely my favorite among their recent releases, a closeup on one of Vesta's strange streaky bright craters.

Some first impressions of EPSC-DPS meeting

Emily Lakdawalla • October 03, 2011

Today they turned on the scientific fire hose at the Division of Planetary Sciences / European Planetary Science Congress meeting happening here in Nantes, France. My brain already feels full and I still have four more days!

Video: Zooming around Vesta

Emily Lakdawalla • September 16, 2011

The Dawn team released today a nice little video that flies around a shape model of Vesta produced by DLR, the German Aerospace Corporation, who built and operate Dawn's camera.

Dawn's cryptic image release titles

Emily Lakdawalla • September 14, 2011

Every day's image release from the Dawn spacecraft shows something on Vesta that is weird and cool and difficult to explain. The images come out with very little information describing what is going on to make those weird landscapes.

Vesta's wacky craters

Emily Lakdawalla • August 16, 2011

Dawn's images of Vesta show craters upon craters, but the longer I study the images, the wackier the craters look.

Vesta, a revelation

Pablo Gutierrez-Marques • August 09, 2011

I have to admit it: three months ago I did not understand why space science is important. This is a pretty bold statement coming from a practicing aerospace engineer, but recent events have corrected this lack of understanding, and I am not embarrassed to correct myself in this blog. But let us not get ahead of the story.

What I see in the first high-res Dawn images of Vesta

Emily Lakdawalla • August 02, 2011

I had to wait until the kids were in bed and the husband fed last night before I finally had time to sit down and really look at the Dawn images of Vesta. And I still hardly knew where to begin. This brand new world is just so different than others I've seen.

On speculation in today's Dawn press briefing

Emily Lakdawalla • August 02, 2011

When a spacecraft has visited a new body for the first time, the usual answer to any scientific question is "it's too early to know; we need to study the data more." Scientists are usually very careful to avoid speculation while they're on press panels. But today's press briefing wasn't like that at all.

Fabulous Dawn Vesta images and rotation movie!!

Emily Lakdawalla • August 01, 2011

Now that Dawn's close enough to Vesta, we're seeing absolutely spectacular detail and tremendous diversity across Vesta's surface. As usual it'll probably take me a while to bring together all the new information, so as a stopgap I'm going to post an awesome image and a rotation movie.

A different face of Vesta (oh, *there's* the craters!)

Emily Lakdawalla • July 29, 2011

Here's the latest image release from Dawn at Vesta, taken from an altitude about twice as high as that of their first mapping orbit.

Dawn Journal: Dawn has arrived!

Marc Rayman • July 26, 2011

After covering 2.8 billion kilometers (1.7 billion miles) on its own, after traveling for nearly four years through the lonely emptiness of interplanetary space, after being bound by the gravity only of the sun, Dawn is finally in orbit around Vesta.

Vesta does a Hyperion impression

Emily Lakdawalla • July 21, 2011

Maybe it's my own peculiar variant of pareidolia, but every time I see a new image of Vesta I'm reminded of some different other lumpy body in the solar system. In the image released just now by the Dawn team, taken from 10,500 kilometers away, I'm seeing Hyperion.

Vesta in infrared color!

Emily Lakdawalla • July 19, 2011

Yet another sharp-eyed reader (I love my readers!) pointed out to me that the German-language release on the MPS website about the latest Vesta image from Dawn included what looked like a tiny thumbnail of a color view.

Yet another new image of Vesta

Emily Lakdawalla • July 18, 2011

A sharp-eyed reader noticed that a size comparison montage posted by the Dawn mission today included an image of Vesta that had not yet been released separately to the public, and it is a very cool one.

Congratulations to the Dawn team on their orbit entry & pretty pictures!

Emily Lakdawalla • July 18, 2011

There's a new orbital mission on the map! As of Friday, the relatively small mass of the asteroid Vesta has finally taken hold of its new artificial satellite, Dawn.

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