Animation of Dawn’s Visit to Vesta Asteroid 2011 NASA JPL 4min

video for embedding at 06.23.11 “This movie presents a series of animations showing NASA’s Dawn spacecraft traveling to and operating at the giant asteroid Vesta” Mapping Vesta: First Results from Dawn’s Survey Orbit “The geologic objectives of the Dawn Mission are to derive Vesta’s shape, map the surface geology, understand the geological context and contribute to the determination of the asteroids’ origin and evolution. Geomorphology and distribution of surface features will provide evidence for impact cratering, tectonic activity, volcanism, and regolith processes. Spectral measurements of the surface will provide evidence of the compositional characteristics of geological units. Age information, as derived from crater sizefrequency distributions, provides the stratigraphic context for the structural and compositional mapping results, thus revealing the geologic history of Vesta. We present here the first results of the Dawn mission from data collected during the approach to Vesta, and its first discrete orbit phase — the Survey Orbit, which lasts 21 days after the spacecraft had established a circular polar orbit at a radius of ~3000 km with a beta angle of 10°-15°. Mapping Approach The surface of Vesta is basaltic in nature, geologically diverse [eg 2], chemically fractionated, and is the probable parent asteroid of the igneous meteorite suite, the howardites, eucrites and diogenites (HED). Volcanism occurred in the early stages
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