Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now  arrow.png

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

    Please leave this field empty

Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

Vesta, now better than Hubble!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

17-06-2011 19:55 CDT

Topics: asteroid 4 Vesta, mission status, asteroids, Dawn

Closer and closer! Vesta is still fuzzy, but as Dawn inexorably draws closer it's beginning to come into focus. The view is now better than anything Hubble has ever returned to Earth. This is the beginning of our exploration of previously unexplored territory! The image was released by the Dawn Framing Camera's home institution, the Max-Planck-Institut für onnensystemforschung, earlier today.

Vesta from Dawn on June 14, 2011

NASA / JPL-Caltech / UCLA / MPS / DLR / IDA

Vesta from Dawn on June 14, 2011
Dawn captured this view of Vesta on June 14, 2011 from a distance of about 265,000 kilometers. Each pixel spans roughly 25 kilometers. The view is now sharper than Hubble's!

There's clearly a deep crater in the northern part of the image. And the outline is definitely lumpier than the outlines of similarly sized bodies in the outer solar system (like Mimas and Enceladus), but we knew that already; the rock that Vesta is made of is able to hold up steeper mountains than the relatively low-strength ices that outer planet moons are made of. Apart from that, it's still hard to tell what's albedo differences and what's topography. But that won't be true for long.

Vesta: Ready or not, here we come!

See other posts from June 2011


Or read more blog entries about: asteroid 4 Vesta, mission status, asteroids, Dawn


Leave a Comment:

You must be logged in to submit a comment. Log in now.
Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

Blog Search

There's More to Explore!

Double your Impact

Are you coming with us? Support our year-end giving campaign and matching funds will double your impact up to $100,000.

Respond by January 15 to double your impact on space exploration!

Donate Today

Featured Images

Orion ESM test article
LightSail-B on the bench
Blue Origin New Shepard after first landing
New Shepard test flight and booster landing
More Images

Featured Video

MISSIONS: Dawn In The Asteroid Belt With Marc Rayman

Watch Now

Space in Images

Pretty pictures and
awe-inspiring science.

See More

Selfies to Space!

Take flight with a selfie on LightSail™ in 2016!

Send a Selfie Now

Connect With Us

Facebook! Twitter! Google+ and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!