Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Dawn Mission Video Shows Vesta's Coat of Many Colors
by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (JPL) Jun 07, 2012

This animation of Vesta is made from images taken with Dawn's framing camera. Many of the images were taken at different viewing angles to provide stereo for use in determining the topography. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA/PSI.

A new video from NASA's Dawn mission reveals the dappled, variegated surface of the giant asteroid Vesta. The animation drapes high-resolution false color images over a 3-D model of the Vesta terrain constructed from Dawn's observations. This visualization enables a detailed view of the variation in the material properties of Vesta in the context of its topography.

The colors were chosen to highlight differences in surface composition that are too subtle for the human eye to see. Scientists are still analyzing what some of the colors mean for the composition of the surface.

But it is clear that the orange material thrown out from some impact craters is different from the surrounding surface material. Green shows the relative abundance of iron. Parts of the huge impact basin known as Rheasilvia in Vesta's southern hemisphere, for instance, have areas with less iron than nearby areas.

Dawn has imaged the majority of the surface of Vesta with the framing camera to provide this 3-D map. While some areas in the north were in shadow at the time the images were obtained by the camera, Dawn expects to improve its coverage of Vesta's northern hemisphere with additional observations.

Dawn's viewing geometry also prevented mapping of a portion of the mountain of the south pole.

The spacecraft is currently spiraling up from its lowest-altitude orbit into its final science orbit, where its average altitude will be about 420 miles (680 kilometers). Dawn is scheduled to leave Vesta around Aug. 26.

The video is available online here.


Related Links
Dawn at NASA
Dawn at JPL
Asteroid and Comet Mission News, Science and Technology

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Dawn deep in the asteroid belt orbiting Vesta
Pasadena CA (JPL) Jun 04, 2012
Far from Earth, on the opposite side of the sun, deep in the asteroid belt, Dawn is gradually spiraling around the giant protoplanet Vesta. Under the gentle pressure of its uniquely efficient ion propulsion system, the explorer is scaling the gravitational mountain from its low-altitude mapping orbit (LAMO) to its second high-altitude mapping orbit (HAMO2). Dawn spent nearly five months in ... read more

UA Lunar-Mining Team Wins National Contest

NASA Lunar Spacecraft Complete Prime Mission Ahead of Schedule

NASA Offers Guidelines To Protect Historic Sites On The Moon

Neil Armstrong gives rare interview - to accountant

Wind may have driven avalanches on Martian dunes

On The Hunt For Light-Toned Veins Of Gypsum

Mars missions may learn from meteor Down Under

Waking Up with the Sun's Rays

European Union launches latest space regulation efforts

CU-Boulder students to help NASA develop plant food production for deep space

China calls for inclusive development of outer space

New Moon for India

What will China's Taikonauts do aboard Tiangong 1?

Why is China sending a woman into space?

China launches telecommunication satellite

Tiangong 1 Ready To Meet Shenzhou 9

Capillarity in Space - Then and Now, 1962-2012

Dragon on board

SpaceX Launches Falcon 9 Dragon on Historic Mission

SpaceX Dragon Transports Student Experiments to Space Station

Another Ariane 5 begins its initial build-up at the Spaceport

Boeing Receives DARPA Airborne Satellite Launch Study Contract

Sea Launch Delivers the Intelsat 19 Spacecraft into Orbit

SpaceX Dragon capsule splash lands in Pacific

Tiny Planet-Finding Mirrors Borrow from Webb Telescope Playbook

Astronomers Probe 'Evaporating' Planet Around Nearby Star with Hobby-Eberly Telescope

Venus transit may boost hunt for other worlds

NSO To Use Venus Transit To Fine-Tune Search For Other Worlds

Samsung vows US launch of Galaxy despite Apple suit

Repelling the drop on top

Elvis Lives! US firm to create 'virtual' Presley

Taiwan's HTC denies Microsoft snub over Windows 8

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement