Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The second-most massive asteroid...

seen up close and personal (click image to enlarge to full resolution):
The press release accompanying this picture indicates that "NASA's Dawn spacecraft obtained this image of the giant asteroid Vesta with its framing camera on July 24, 2011. It was taken from a distance of about 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."

More images and information about the ongoing mission to the asteroid belt can be found here.

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