Scientists stunned by surface of massive asteroid
2011 08 02

From: Mail.com

The first close-up pictures of the massive asteroid Vesta reveal a northern hemisphere littered with craters — including a trio nicknamed "Snowman" — and a smoother southern half, researchers reported Monday.

Running along the asteroid’s equator are deep grooves — a surprise to scientists who did not expect to see such features.


This image of the Asteroid Vesta, released by NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory on Monday, August 1, 2011, was captured by the Dawn spacecraft on July 24, 2011 at a distance of 3,200 miles (5,200 kilometers). Dawn entered orbit around Vesta on July 15, and will spend a year orbiting the body. After that, the next stop on its itinerary will be an encounter with the dwarf planet Ceres.
(AP Photo/NASA, Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

"We’re seeing quite a varied surface," said chief scientist Christopher Russell of the University of California, Los Angeles. The images were taken by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, which began orbiting the 330-mile-wide rocky body last month and beaming back incredible surface details that the team is only beginning to pore over. It’s the first time that Vesta has been viewed up close. Until now, it has only been photographed from afar.

Since entering orbit, Dawn has taken more than 500 pictures, while refining its path and inching ever closer to the surface to get a better view. The probe will officially start collecting science data next week once it is 1,700 miles from the surface. It will get as close as 110 miles while it orbits Vesta for a year.

Vesta’s southern section is dominated by a giant crater, the result of a collision eons ago that’s believed to have pelted Earth with numerous meteorites, or broken off pieces of asteroids. The northern side is filled with older craters including three that scientists dubbed "Snowman."

Vesta is "so rich in features" that it will keep scientists busy for years, said Holger Sierks, of the Max Planck Society in Germany, who helps operate the camera.


This undated artist rendition released by NASA/JPL shows the Dawn spacecraft orbiting the asteroid Vesta. NASA will host a news conference Monday, Aug. 1, 2011 and unveil the first full-frame images from Dawn’s framing camera. (AP Photo/NASA/JPL)

Currently some 117 million miles from Earth, Vesta is the second-largest resident of the asteroid belt, a zone between Mars and Jupiter filled with hundreds of thousands of space rocks orbiting the sun. The belt formed some 4.5 billion years ago around the same time and under similar conditions as Earth and the inner planets.

Read the full article at: mail.com
All Images: Source, KomoNews.com



Also tune into:

Richard C. Hoagland - Comet Elenin as a Time Capsule, Norway Attack & The Messengers of Horus

Andy Lloyd - Dark Star, Evidence for Planet X

Michael Tsarion - Lucifer & The Dark Side of the Sun

Richard C. Hoagland - The Secret Space Program & The Fukushima Nuclear Reactor Disaster

Richard C. Hoagland - Phobos an Ancient Alien Spaceship, Mars, NASA & Disclosure

Paul A. LaViolette - Electrogravitics, Advanced Space Travel, Pulsars & Breakaway Civilization





Related Articles
Fossil from the ’last dinosaur’ proves species WAS wiped out by killer asteroid, say scientists
Britain and the U.S. top league table of countries that would be worst affected by an asteroid strike
Asteroid Buzzes Earth in Close Shave: First Photos
The OSIRIS REX: NASA Chooses Threatening Asteroid for New Mission
Comet Elenin Reclassified as Cluster
Comet Elenin brightening a hopeful sign
Comet Elenin
LEOnhard Euler Predicted Comet Elenin 331 Years Ago As Seen On Swiss Banknote


Latest News from our Front Page

Gov’t Fear Factory: ISIS Is Here, Just in Time for Another 9/11 Anniversary
2014 08 23
The government has been doing a whole lot of talking lately about the 9/11-style threat ISIS poses on American soil, how ISIS is like ’nothing the Pentagon has ever seen’ and how ISIS is likely already here... and all just in time right before another 9/11 anniversary! Fancy that. Considering it’s on record where ISIS got a lot of its military ...
France delivered arms to Syrian rebels, Hollande confirms
2014 08 22
President Francois Hollande said on Thursday that France had delivered weapons to rebels battling the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad “a few months ago.” The deliveries took place “a few months ago, when the Syrian rebels had to face both the armies of the dictator Bashar al-Assad and this terrorist group Islamic State,” Hollande told reporters on a tour of the ...
Brooklyn DA exposes hidden Child Sexual Abuse in the Orthodox Jewish Community
2014 08 22
Comment: We all know that the sex abuse cases within the Catholic church have been plastered all over the media in the last 6-8 years, but when do you ever hear about the rapes, sexual molestation and child sex abuse cases within the jewish orthodox community? Is the media helping to cover it? Will they give the same treatment of ...
California’s Economic Collision Course: Immigration and Water
2014 08 22
You have heard it before: “As California goes, so goes the nation.” If that is the case, the national economy will be harmed for decades to come because of California’s misplaced priorities today. Indeed, by emphasizing high-speed rail over water and failing to deal with its debt crisis, California poses a long-term threat to our national economy and ...
ISIS offered to swap Foley for ’Lady Al Qaeda’ - neuroscientist MIT-graduate
2014 08 21
An MIT-educated neuroscientist terrorist known as ’Lady al Qaeda’ was named on a ’laundry list’ of demands from ISIS captors holding James Foley named, it was revealed today. Petite mother-of-three Aafia Siddiqui is currently serving 86 years in a Texas jail after being arrested with plans for a ’mass casualty attack’ in the US, including infecting people with Ebola and a ...
More News »