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Snapshots from Space

by Emily Lakdawalla

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Emily Lakdawalla

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Follow the thrilling adventures of planetary missions, past and present, and see the stunningly beautiful photos that they return from space!

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.

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.

Ever closer to Vesta

Emily Lakdawalla • July 04, 2011

Here's a photo of Vesta that was released by the Dawn team on Friday. I didn't post it right away because the version of the image in the official release has some bizarre processing artifacts that make it look as though the image had been made by cutting construction paper.

Amateur takes on the Dawn Vesta images

Emily Lakdawalla • June 24, 2011

I am pretty sure that the Dawn team put nearly every image they've taken of Vesta so far in the animation they released yesterday, which is awesome. It hasn't taken long for the amateur image processing community to pick that animation apart into its component frames and process the heck out of the individual images to produce some very fine looking images and animations.

Vesta looks pretty battered

Emily Lakdawalla • June 23, 2011

There was a press briefing on Dawn today at NASA Headquarters, and there are new pictures! Here's what Vesta looked like as of three days ago, when Dawn was only 189,000 kilometers away.

Vesta, now better than Hubble!

Emily Lakdawalla • June 17, 2011

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.

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