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New Vesta Images!

Latest image of Vesta's surface from Dawn

Released today, this is one of several new images taken with the full-frame camera aboard NASA’s Dawn spacecraft currently in orbit around the asteroid Vesta. Look at the detail in the surface! Incredible!

This image shows the southern hemisphere of Vesta, and around its equator are long, deep grooves. Many different sizes of craters can be seen, as well as surfaces of varying colorations and reflectiveness. This asteroid has proved to be quite a surprising place… and the real investigation has only just begun.

Remember too, Vesta is not a small chunk of rock. It’s a complicated world, the second-largest object in the main asteroid belt, and has a surface area twice as large as the state of California. That’s a big place!

“We have been calling Vesta the smallest terrestrial planet. The latest imagery provides much justification for our expectations. They show that a variety of processes were once at work on the surface of Vesta and provide extensive evidence for Vesta’s planetary aspirations.”

– Chris Russell, Dawn’s principal investigator at UCLA.

Here are a couple more brand-new images from Dawn:

A look at Vesta's "snowman" craters

Craters on Vesta's southern region

When we look at the surface of Vesta we are looking at over 4.65 billion years of our solar system’s history!  That’s just amazing.

“It’s really a beautiful and exciting small world sitting there in the middle of the asteroid belt.” 

Dawn was approximately 3,200 miles (5200 km) from Vesta when these images were taken.

Vesta is the brightest object in the asteroid belt as seen from Earth and is thought to be the source of a large number of meteorites that fall to Earth. Dawn launched in September 2007. Following a year at Vesta, the spacecraft will depart in July 2012 for Ceres, where it will arrive in 2015. Read more about the Dawn mission here.

Also check out this cool animation showing Vesta rotating:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Image credits:  NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

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About Jason Major

Jason is a Rhode Island-based graphic designer, photographer, nature lover, space exploration fanatic, and coffee addict. In no particular order.

Posted on August 1, 2011, in Comets and Asteroids and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 26 Comments.

  1. WHO LIVE THERE??? YES IN VESTA… WHO ARE THIS GUYS???

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  2. “We have been calling Vesta the smallest terrestrial planet. The latest imagery provides much justification for our expectations. They show that a variety of processes were once at work on the surface of Vesta and provide extensive evidence for Vesta’s planetary aspirations.”

    – Chris Russell, Dawn’s principal investigator at UCLA.

    HE SAYS THAT CAUSE HE KNOWS AND CAN SEE IN THEIR HD PERFECT IMAGES …PLANETARY ASPIRATIONS…??? REALLY? WHY ?? CAUSE IS LIVING SOMEONE ELSE IN VESTA ??? OFCOURSE MY FRIENDS.. AND IN OTHERS ASTEROIDS , IS THE SAMME. why we don´t have hd images from 2005 YU55 Asteroid WHO HAS PASSED SO NEAR EARTH ( NEAR 200.000KM) , WITH OUR TECHNOLOGIES WE MUST HAVE PERFECT IMAGES… HAVE YOU SAW IT??? CAUSE IT´S FULL OF STRUCTURES AND CONSTRUCTIONS AND ALSO PEOPLE. BYE BYE

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    • Diogo you are drawing extreme conclusions from the data on Vesta (and lack of data on YU55!) Vesta is not occupied, nor is YU55. There are no “perfect” HD images of YU55 because it still passed far from Earth, is much smaller and darker than Vesta and was imaged with radar, not visible light. But no “structures, constructions and [definitely not] people.”

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  3. Open PIA14324 zoom it ((big crater near center ) at 14 hours ( white area) , can you see it ??? And why the superimposed blacks areas in the crater what are they hidden? you can also zoom at the end of the crack on the right side of this samme crater … and much others places in this images. In the 2005 YU55 you´ll note structures near the top of the asteroid in the nasa radar video images, and by the way , I think that our prof. astronomers must have very good images of this asteroid , cause he passe with inferior distance to the earth -moon and they show us perfect photos of others objects that are so far away than this asteroid, perhaps hubble or other big telescopes earth based , no? disinformation? someone touch where he don´t like…and with included answer…don´t say nothing more cause we all understand what are yours objectifs…. yes this is for you!

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    • The blacks are not “superimposed”, they are darker material streaks on the crater’s inner slopes. Vesta’s surface is not uniform, it has materials of varying albedos – which is in itself very interesting to planetary scientists.

      As far as YU55, it was imaged by radar, which is *not* visual imagery. YU55 was moving very quickly and is very dark – less than 1% reflective, darker than coal. This is not suitable for visual-light imaging from Earth to see very high surface detail, but radar imaging can do this well enough to see structure and shape. But even though it was close, it was simply too dark to just “snap a photo” of it.

      If you think I have ulterior motives to withhold information (or spread disinformation) then you are the one who is mistaken. Do more research before making pointed claims like that, please. And also I would suggest you look up “pareidolia”. (I’ll do it for you: http://www.skepdic.com/pareidol.html)

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      • The samme happen on the moon and mars… nobody there….also pareidolia, wright???

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        • Yes. Right. There’s no people on the Moon, there’s no people on Mars. If you have proof that there are, please share it with the rest of the world… everyone’s been looking for real evidence of life outside our planet, if you haven’t noticed. (And pareidolia doesn’t count as evidence.)

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  4. PIA14322 has surface humans forms designed and carved. Also False?
    this site make censure ?

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    • There is no censure here (not unless it’s spam or foul.) And yes, also false. The “structures” seen in PIA14322 (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/dawn/multimedia/pia14322.html) are dark material streaks surrounding a crater on Vesta’s south polar region. This is common and found across the asteroid, and the scale of these features is clearly out of range of being “humanoids” of any kind. If they are people, they stand a kilometer tall! No, these are interesting features since they show different material types on Vesta but they are not human buildings, nor humans.

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      • right… nasa.GOV… That´s what the other guy says : .GOV….

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        • Who do you think got us to Mars and Vesta?? NASA.gov. If you don’t like the US government that’s one thing, but the engineers working for NASA-funded organizations are top-notch. Believe me, they want to find life out there as much as anyone else. But they aren’t going to point to a dark speck in a photo and claim it as proof.

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          • how is possible that someone that study this theme and see so much informations about it , still don´t know that gouvernement is hidden extraterrestrial life (mars and moon) and that we´ve been helped in our technologie??(shure a lot of scientists and technicians have their value and are very professional people) and isn´t the question of like or dislike gouvernement , it´s just give the peolple(who pay all the projects) the truth. And also you can think that if scientists don´t do what the gouvernement want and say , they don´t have jobs or projects to work (this happens all over the world with by exemple the studies of human evolution dates, including somme discoveries are hidden to maintain the actual theories of human evolutions(cause you know, are still theories , that´s why all the human evolution and space investigations and informations is the way it is: a BIG Lie, and the problem is “you” are lying to your clildren and people and that´s not wright… Disclosure who we are , from we´ve come from ( the monkey?? , not me…) and all the info about the et´s and little beings that exist in mars and moon ( but you don´t know…) , and all the solar system planets that have et people , that´s amazing , wright ?? with our terrestrial responsabilities ( jobs , soons , familie , money, etc) we don´t have the time to think about this questions and with the counterinformation is hard to bilieve in what I´m telling but make your own investigation ( in many mars rovers images you have the proof…have they forgot delete it?? or little of disclosure??) .I you have your value by presenting us with somme good pictures but try to evolve and use your knowledge to give the people the truth not hide the truth( or may be it your own feeling and belief , and if is like that , don´t forget what you ´re reading now because sooner or latter ( i expect in our life time) also you will know and belief it … Rgds

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            • I’m sorry that you feel this way, it must be hard to live in a world that you think is so full of lies and false information about science. Once you feel that everyone is lying to you, then you will suspect everything. And that’s just not good for anyone…especially your children. Me, I trust the experts and the scientists, some of which I have had the pleasure of meeting personally and have never gotten a feeling of being “lied to” about their research. On the other hand, the sources of all the information regarding aliens and conspiracies and cover-ups definitely feel like liars and sensationalist spreaders of misinformation to me.

              I don’t “not know” about those theories, I just don’t give them any attention or merit. Once there’s solid proof I will, but until then, no. Blurry images, stray pixels and overactive imaginations don’t prove the existence of extraterrestrial life, not in the real world. If that were the case, we’d still live in a world in fear of of gods and dragons, magic and sea-monsters.

              If you truly feel that the researchers of the world are lying to you, I’m sorry. I hope you enjoy the company of paranoid accusers.

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              • YOU REALLY ARE THE PARANOID BELEIVER!You´re so wrong and living a clildren story , not the real story

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                • Well I’d advise you to stop hanging around children’s story websites, since you are obviously on a more “adult” level. The children who enjoy my site don’t want to be frightened by your grown-up facts.

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  5. no lies it´s a paradise. What is your interests?live and die without know the real world is sad… no conspiracy in the world and the 9.11 never happened . It´s all flowers and genuine people, take care my friend cause you´ll have a lot of surprises in your life time!
    Some help:http://www.mcremo.com/lectures.html
    http://www.marsanomalyresearch.com/
    About the scientists and cience you can read something about it here;http://freespace.virgin.net/john.hewitt1/index.htm
    or http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/11/lies-damned-lies-and-medical-science/8269/
    One more to be deceived by the gov(in this space/cosmos/science themes)
    Chacun fait ce que vous voulez de votre vie , mais cesser de vouloir tromper les autres ,nést pas correct!Read what you have about Steve job , he´s wright:”Your time is limited,…”
    Pay to be deceived?? !

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  6. for you the truth and reality is scary?? kill your self or buy a dog ! No delude people!

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  7. Wow, there are major freaks commenting on this article. J. Major, I applaud your tenacity in dealing with such numbskulls.

    Like

  1. Pingback: Is Vesta a Planet Among Asteroids? « Lights in the Dark

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