NASA Releases Last Images Of Dawn Spacecraft Visit With Vesta Asteroid

September 12, 2012
One of NASA Dawn Spacecraft's last images of asteroid Vesta as it moves on. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

April Flowers for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online

As NASA’s Dawn mission spacecraft speeds away from the giant asteroid Vesta, mission control has released two parting views using images that were among the last taken by Dawn.

One set of images is a color-coded relief map of Vesta’s northern hemisphere, from the pole to the equator. It incorporates images taken as Dawn began to creep over the high northern latitudes of Vesta. These were dark when Dawn arrived in June 2011. The second image is a black and white mosaic, showing a full view of the asteroid, created by synthesizing some of Dawn’s best images.

“Dawn has peeled back the veil on some of the mysteries surrounding Vesta, but we’re still working hard on more analysis,” said Christopher Russell, Dawn’s principal investigator at UCLA. “So while Vesta is now out of sight, it will not be out of mind.”

Dawn will not transmit any more daily images during the cruise to its second destination. However, other images will be highlighted as discoveries are made, and you can access archived data at pds.nasa.gov.

Dawn left Vesta on Sept. 4, 2012 PDT, using its ion propulsion system to travel to the dwarf planet, Ceres. Dawn is expected to arrive in early 2015.

Source: April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online

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