facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

NASA releases 'close-ups' of asteroid

Dec. 22, 2011 at 9:11 PM   |   Comments

PASADENA, Calif., Dec. 22 (UPI) -- NASA says its Dawn spacecraft has sent back the first images of the giant asteroid Vesta from its closest approach to the object yet.

Taken from a low-altitude mapping orbit, the pictures show a rippled and lumpy surface in greater detail than ever before, providing scientists with clues about the solar system's early history, a release from the space agency said Wednesday.

After obtaining images from a high-altitude mapping orbit about 430 miles above Vesta's surface, Dawn moved closer to capture the latest images from a height of 115 miles.

The images were returned to Earth Dec. 13, and Dawn scientists say they'll acquire data in the low-altitude mapping orbit for at least 10 weeks.

The Dawn mission to Vesta is being managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

Topics: NASA
© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
NASA satellite shows scope of Aral Sea disaster NASA satellite shows scope of Aral Sea disaster
2
600-year-old canoe discovered in New Zealand 600-year-old canoe discovered in New Zealand
3
Apple releases fix for 'Shellshock' virus Apple releases fix for 'Shellshock' virus
4
Social network Ello getting thousands of requests per hour Social network Ello getting thousands of requests per hour
5
35,000 walruses haul out of ocean, crowd Alaskan shore 35,000 walruses haul out of ocean, crowd Alaskan shore
Trending News
x
Feedback