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Last updated on April 21, 2014 at 5:21 EDT

Latest Dawn Stories

2014-01-22 16:20:23

WASHINGTON, Jan. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Scientists using the Herschel space observatory have made the first definitive detection of water vapor on the largest and roundest object in the asteroid belt, Ceres. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) Plumes of water vapor are thought to shoot up periodically from Ceres when portions of its icy surface warm slightly. Ceres is classified as a dwarf planet, a solar system body bigger than an asteroid...

Dwarf Planet Ceres Caught Spewing Out Water Vapor
2014-01-22 14:56:55

[ Watch the Video: Ceres Lets Of A Little Steam ] Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Water vapor has been discovered around the dwarf planet Ceres thanks to new data from the Herschel Space Observatory. Ceres is the largest object in the asteroid belt and sits between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Scientists believe that Ceres is layered with a rocky core and icy outer mantle, which has significant implications for our understanding of the evolution of the Solar...

Vesta's Hidden Attractions Provided By Dawn
2013-12-17 08:01:02

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory Some beauty is revealed only at a second glance. When viewed with the human eye, the giant asteroid Vesta, which was the object of scrutiny by the Dawn spacecraft from 2011 to 2012, is quite unspectacular color-wise. Vesta looks grayish, pitted by a variety of large and small craters. But scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany, have re-analyzed the images of this giant asteroid obtained by Dawn's...

Dawn Mission Details
2013-12-04 10:18:43

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online NASA officials have just announced the schedule for the spacecraft Dawn’s approach and activities at the dwarf planet Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars. The NASA probe is slated to arrive at Ceres in late March or the beginning of April 2015 – 30 months after investigating a similar proto-planet called Vesta. "Our flight plan around Ceres will be choreographed to be very similar to the...

Dawn Mission Data Offers New Evidence On Vesta Asteroid's History
2013-11-07 15:32:00

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A new paper published in the journal Nature rewrites the history of the giant asteroid Vesta, which was recently visited by NASA’s Dawn mission. It was during the Dawn mission that the spacecraft used its visible and infrared mapping spectrometer instrument to map out the surface of the asteroid, leading scientists to the belief that Vesta’s formation followed the script that rocky planets followed, where the mineral olivine should...

NASA’s Dawn Spacecraft Provides More Information On Asteroid Vesta
2013-09-27 17:17:01

[ Watch the Video: Asteroid Vesta Visited By NASA's Dawn Spacecraft ] Michael Harper for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online The asteroid Vesta, the second largest in the asteroid belt, has been particularly interesting to astronomers since it was first discovered in 1807. Early observations by the Hubble telescope showed the asteroid was mostly composed like Earth; complete with a crust, mantle and core. It was also discovered that the color and composition of Vesta’s surface...

Researchers Compile Virtual Atlas Of Asteroid Vesta
2013-09-13 08:59:41

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Astronomy enthusiasts can now take a virtual tour of the asteroid Vesta thanks to an atlas created from images captured during the Dawn Mission’s Low Altitude Mapping Orbit (LAMO), researchers announced Wednesday at the European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC) 2013 in London. The atlas, which was presented by Dr. Thomas Roatsch of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), was comprised of maps created from mosaics of 10,000 images...

NASA Reveals New Images, Video Of Asteroid Redirect Mission
2013-08-23 07:30:04

[WATCH VIDEO: Asteroid Redirect Mission Concept Animation] Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online NASA has released a new animation along with new photos of the space agency's proposed asteroid redirect mission. The space agency said it is developing the first-ever mission to identify, approach, capture and redirect a small asteroid into a stable orbit in lunar vicinity. The part of this mission would be performed by an asteroid capture vehicle, while another part of the...

Human Asteroid Exploration: The Long And Storied Path
2013-04-17 10:43:01

NASA Within NASA´s new FY2014 budget proposal lies a project known as the Asteroid Retrieval and Utilization Mission. This project would be the first to capture a small near-Earth asteroid and safely redirect it to a lunar orbit so that astronauts can visit and explore it. Such a mission would expand scientific knowledge of the origins of both humanity and the universe. The goal of asteroid retrieval is not a new endeavor for NASA. In fact, the idea dates to the earliest days of...

NASA Scientists Find Striking Similarity Between Moon And Asteroids
2013-03-26 07:24:40

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Scientists from NASA´s Lunar Science Institute (NLSI), along with researchers from abroad, have discovered that Earth´s own natural satellite shares a striking similarity with Vesta, and perhaps other large asteroids roaming around the Solar System. The Moffett Field, California-based NLSI found that the same population of high-speed projectiles that bombarded the Moon four billion years ago, also impacted the giant...


Latest Dawn Reference Libraries

9_492577401769e5bd3fcb20c80fa3c9a32
2004-10-19 04:45:44

NEAR-Shoemaker Mission -- The Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous - Shoemaker (NEAR Shoemaker), renamed after its launch in honor of Gene Shoemaker, is an unmanned spacecraft designed to study the near-Earth asteroid Eros from close orbit over a period of a year. The primary scientific objectives of NEAR were to return data on the bulk properties, composition, mineralogy, morphology, internal mass distribution and magnetic field of Eros. Secondary objectives include studies of regolith...

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