Dawn's trajectory from a vantage point far above the equator

Dawn's trajectory from a vantage point far above the equator
Dawn's trajectory from a vantage point far above the equator Like the figure immediately above, this depicts Dawn’s trajectory from a vantage point far above the equator, again with north at the top. Having shifted your position again, now, as in the first trajectory figure above, the sun is far to the left, not behind you, so you see XMO3 (the inner green orbit) almost edge-on. Just to the right of Ceres, Dawn is closer to you than the plane of the figure and is traveling toward the top (north). As in the first figure, part of the green ellipse is blocked by the blue. As described in the text and the other figures, Dawn uses its ion engine initially to raise its altitude above Ceres, then it turns when it crests far over the south pole (bottom). In the long vertical dashed section, the last arc before the turn, Dawn is flying south on the other side of the plane of the diagram. Its new orbit is the large green ellipse, and as the spacecraft flies north on its clockwise progression, it will measure the opposition surge at the plus sign. NASA / JPL-Caltech

"We're changing the world. Are you in?"
- CEO Bill Nye

Sign up for email updates