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Dawn Journal: Spiraling Down from Survey Orbit

Marc Rayman • September 02, 2011

Dawn has completed the first phase of its exploration of Vesta with tremendous success, and the peripatetic adventurer is now in powered flight again, on its way to a new location from which to scrutinize its subject.

Dawn Journal: In Survey Orbit (belatedly)

Marc Rayman • August 29, 2011

Dawn is now beginning intensive observations of the alien world it orbits. The approach phase, which began on May 3 is complete. Today Dawn is in its survey orbit around Vesta.

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.

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