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Keyword: vesta

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  • Watch the Moon Occult Vesta and Aldebaran This Weekend

    04/07/2016 8:17:36 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 5 replies
    So, did you miss yesterday’s occultation of Venus by the Moon? It was a tough one, to be sure, as the footpath for the event crossed Europe and Asia in the daytime. Watch that Moon, though, as it crosses back into the evening sky later this week, and occults (passes in front of) the bright star Aldebaran for eastern North America and, for Hawaii-based observers, actually covers the brightest of the asteroids, 4 Vesta. These events are all part of a cycle of occultations spanning 2016. When we left off last week, the Moon was headed towards New, which occurs...
  • Vesta Rules the February Dusk Skies

    02/10/2016 5:38:20 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 3 replies
    universe today ^ | 9 Feb , 2016 | by David Dickinson
    Vesta is actually the second largest asteroid belt member, and the brightest asteroid as seen from the Earth, shining at magnitude +5.5 near opposition—bright enough to see with the unaided eye-Vesta can be seen from a good dark sky site if you know exactly where to look for it. February 2016 sees Vesta about 50 degrees above the western horizon at sunset, right along the Cetus-Pisces border. Vesta is worth tracking down this month, as it moves south of and parallel to another solar system resident: +5.9 magnitude Uranus. Follow both Vesta and Uranus, and you can see the difference...
  • Large Meteorite Impacts and Planetary Evolution V

    01/10/2016 4:36:03 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 20 replies
    EurekAlert! ^ | January 8, 2016 | Geological Society of America
    Impact cratering is one of the most fundamental geological processes. On many planets, impact craters are the dominant geological landform. On Earth, erosion, plate tectonics, and volcanic resurfacing continually destroy the impact cratering record, but even here, the geological, biological, and environmental effects of impact cratering are apparent. Impact events are destructive and have been linked to at least one of the 'big five' mass extinctions over the past 540 million years. Intriguingly, impact craters can also have beneficial effects. Many impact craters are associated with economic metalliferous ore deposits and hydrocarbon reservoirs. This Special Paper from The Geological...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Vesta Trek: A Digital Model of Asteroid Vesta

    04/21/2015 5:23:54 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | April 21, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: You can explore asteroid Vesta. Recently, NASA's robotic spaceship Dawn visited Vesta, the second largest object in our Solar System's main asteroid belt, which lies between Mars and Jupiter. During a year-long stopover, Dawn's cameras photographed Vesta's entire surface, documenting all of the minor planet's major mountains and craters. These images have now been combined into a digital model that allows anyone with a full-featured browser to fly all around Vesta, virtually, and even zoom in on interesting surface features, by just dragging and clicking. If desired, the initially flat 2D map can be wrapped into a nearly spherical...
  • Radiation Blast Delays NASA Spacecraft’s Arrival At Dwarf Planet Ceres

    09/17/2014 2:17:55 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 13 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | September 17, 2014 | Elizabeth Howell on
    Controllers discovered Dawn was in safe mode Sept. 11 after radiation disabled its ion engine, which uses electrical fields to “push” the spacecraft along. The radiation stopped all engine thrusting activities. The thrusting resumed Monday (Sept. 15) after controllers identified and fixed the problem, but then they found another anomaly troubling the spacecraft. ... Dawn is en route to Ceres after orbiting the huge asteroid Vesta between July 2011 and September 2012. A similar suspected radiation blast three years ago also disabled Dawn’s engine before it reached Vesta, but the ion system worked perfectly in moving Dawn away from Vesta...
  • Ancient Asteroid Impacts Left Serpentine Traces On Vesta: Study

    07/02/2014 9:40:24 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 7 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | July 2, 2014 | Elizabeth Howell on
    While “dark materials” may leave some of us thinking about a certain Philip Pullman book series, on the asteroid Vesta its presence belies something equally exotic: old smaller asteroid impacts on its surface. The dark stuff on the lighter surface has puzzled researchers since it was discovered in 2011 (and has been brought up in other studies), but a new team says it has found that serpentine is among the components. Because that mineral can’t survive temperatures that are more than 400 degrees Celsius (752 degrees Fahrenheit), this means that scenarios such as volcanic eruptions can’t have caused it. This...
  • Ceres and Vesta Converge in the Sky on July 5: How to See It

    06/26/2014 7:28:57 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 11 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | June 26, 2014 | Bob King on
    In April, we reported that Ceres and Vesta, the largest and brightest asteroids respectively, were speeding through Virgo in tandem. Since then both have faded, but the best is yet to come. Converging closer by the day, on July 5, the two will make rare close pass of each other when they’ll be separated by just 10 minutes of arc or the thickness of a fat crescent moon. ... Both asteroids are still within range of ordinary 35mm and larger binoculars; Vesta is easy at magnitude +7 while Ceres still manages a respectable +8.3. From an outer suburban or rural...
  • Trips to Mars in 39 Days?

    10/08/2009 3:02:57 AM PDT · by Dallas59 · 20 replies · 833+ views
    Universe Today ^ | 10/7/2009 | Nancy Atkinson
    Video of Engine Test Using traditional chemical rockets, a trip to Mars – at quickest — lasts 6 months. But a new rocket tested successfully last week could potentially cut down travel time to the Red Planet to just 39 days. The Ad Astra Rocket Company tested a plasma rocket called the VASIMR VX-200 engine, which ran at 201 kilowatts in a vacuum chamber, passing the 200-kilowatt mark for the first time. "It's the most powerful plasma rocket in the world right now," says Franklin Chang-Diaz, former NASA astronaut and CEO of Ad Astra. The company has also signed...
  • This Dwarf Planet Might Have More Fresh Water Than All Of Earth

    01/26/2014 7:31:00 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 53 replies
    Popular Science ^ | January 22, 2014 | Colin Lecher
    And it's actually (relatively) nearby. This is poor, unfortunate Ceres. Discovered in 1801, it was at first called a planet, then soon classified as an asteroid, and recently as a dwarf planet, not quite qualifying for real planet status despite residing in the solar system's asteroid belt. But now it can feel special: the Herschel Telescope has, the for the first time, detected water on the lil' planet--probably a whole lot of it, too. The telescope, using infrared vision, detected a signature of water vapor from Ceres. The researchers think when the 590-mile-wide Ceres moves closer to the sun, part...
  • Herschel Discovers Water Vapor Spewing from Ceres

    01/22/2014 1:51:16 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 9 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | January 22, 2014 | Nancy Atkinson on
    Herschel used its far-infrared vision with the HIFI instrument to see a clear spectral signature of the water vapor. But, interestingly, Herschel did not see water vapor every time it looked. There were variations in the water signal during the dwarf planet’s 9-hour rotation period. The telescope spied water vapor four different times, on one occasion there was no signature. The astronomers deduced that almost all of the water vapor was seen to be coming from just two spots on the surface. Although Herschel was not able to make a resolved image of Ceres, the team was able to derive...
  • NASA's New Target: A manned mission to an asteroid sounds far-fetched...

    12/19/2007 5:28:54 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies · 88+ views
    Popular Science ^ | October 2007 | Dawn Stover
    Astronauts, space buffs and an unimpressed public hunger for space exploration that's more dramatic, more heroic, more new. Something like, say, landing astronauts on a distant rock hurtling through space at 15 miles per second. That's exactly the kind of trip NASA has been studying. In fact, scientists at the space agency recently determined that a manned mission to a near-Earth asteroid would be possible using technology being developed today... This wouldn't be our first trip to an asteroid. We've been visiting them by proxy for years now, using unmanned space probes. In 2000 NASA's NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft arrived at...
  • Dawn Liftoff at Dawn... on mission to Ceres and Vesta

    09/28/2007 7:17:50 AM PDT · by cogitator · 22 replies · 143+ views
    Dawn Mission ^ | 09/28/2007 | NASA
    I'm mainly posting this because the liftoff image is one of the most impressive I've seen.
  • NASA's Dawn Spacecraft Begins Trek to Asteroid Belt

    09/27/2007 1:10:44 PM PDT · by saganite · 37 replies · 229+ views
    Space.com ^ | 27 September 2007 | Tariq Malik
    A NASA probe blasted into space early Thursday, kicking off an unprecedented mission to explore the two largest asteroids in the solar system. Riding atop a Delta 2 rocket, NASA's Dawn spacecraft launched toward the asteroids Vesta and Ceres at 7:34 a.m. EDT (1134 GMT) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla. "In my view, we're going to be visiting some of the last unexplored worlds in the solar system," said Marc Rayman, Dawn director of system engineering at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif. Dawn's eight-year mission will carry the 2,685-pound (1,212-kilogram) probe across...
  • NASA delays launch of Dawn spacecraft (Cape Canaveral: Rescheduled)

    07/07/2007 2:22:52 PM PDT · by bd476 · 12 replies · 620+ views
    Xinhua and Space.com ^ | July 7, 2007
    Washington, July 8 (Xinhua): The launch of NASA's Dawn spacecraft to explore two massive asteroids has been rescheduled to no earlier than Monday, July 9, NASA announced. The launch window for Dawn on Monday will be 3:56 p.m. to 4:26 p.m. EDT (1956 GMT to 2026 GMT). It will be sent into space by a Delta 2 rocket. The delay was prompted by difficulties with an aircraft that would gather data signals from the rocket during launch, and the availability of a tracking ship, NASA said in a statement. Also, the weather forecast at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station...
  • Asteroid mission postponed until July 15 (NASA's Dawn spacecraft destined for Vesta and Ceres)

    07/06/2007 7:59:06 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 10 replies · 341+ views
    AP on Yahoo ^ | 7/6/07 | AP
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - The planned weekend launch of a spacecraft to explore two of the solar system's largest asteroids was delayed again because of problems with a tracking ship and aircraft. NASA set Monday afternoon as a new launch time for the Dawn spacecraft, which will embark on a years-long journey to the asteroids Vesta and Ceres, which lie between Mars and Jupiter. The spacecraft originally had been set to launch Saturday but that was nixed because thunderstorms and lightning at the launch pad prevented loading its fuel. On Friday, the space agency called off a Sunday launch, too,...
  • Just a few more days for your name to rise with Dawn (Put your name onboard a spacecraft)

    11/01/2006 3:49:52 AM PST · by saganite · 7 replies · 402+ views
    Spaceflight Now ^ | 31 Oct 06 | staff
    NASA's campaign to send the nom de plumes of people from around the world into the heart of the asteroid belt ends Sat., Nov. 4. Submitted names will be carried on board NASA's Dawn, the first spacecraft to travel between and scrutinize two distinct worlds. Mission scientists are confident Dawn observations of asteroid Vesta and dwarf planet Ceres will answer basic questions about the nature and composition of these celestial wanderers. "How many chances do you get to fly into the very heart of the asteroid belt?" said Keyur Patel, Dawn project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif....
  • Dawn spacecraft to blast off Sunday on mission to 2 asteroids

    07/05/2007 12:40:25 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 23 replies · 558+ views
    AP on Bakersfield Californian ^ | 7/5/07 | Alicia Chang - ap
    NASA this weekend is set to launch a spacecraft that will journey to the asteroid belt that lies between Mars and Jupiter, a mission that involves a rendezvous with two of the solar system's largest asteroids. Seeking clues about the birth of the solar system, the Dawn spacecraft will first encounter Vesta, the smaller of the two bodies, four years from now. In 2015, it will meet up with Ceres, which carries the status of both asteroid and, like Pluto, dwarf planet. "We're trying to go back in time as well as to go out there in space," said planetary...
  • NASA Restarts Canceled Asteroid Mission - DAWN

    03/27/2006 12:40:16 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 22 replies · 441+ views
    AP on Yahoo ^ | 3/27/06 | Alicia Chang - ap
    LOS ANGELES - NASA decided Monday to restart a mission to explore two of the solar system's largest asteroids, just weeks after the project was killed because of budget woes. The space agency earlier this month scrapped the $446 million Dawn mission to orbit the asteroids Ceres and Vesta, nearly a half year after it was put on hold because of cost overruns and technical problems. NASA decided to review the cancellation after the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which managed the mission, made an appeal. "Our review determined the project team has made substantive progress on many of this mission's technical...
  • NASA Reviews Canceled Asteroid Mission - ("unusual move", new evidence, 'Dawn' lives?)

    03/15/2006 8:00:52 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 7 replies · 355+ views
    AP on Yahoo ^ | 3/15/06 | Alicia Chang - ap
    LOS ANGELES - In an unusual move, NASA is reviewing a recent decision by an agency head to scrap a mission to orbit two asteroids. The Dawn project was canceled on March 2, five months after it was put on standdown because of cost overruns and technical problems. NASA's unusual step to review Dawn's termination came after the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, which manages the mission, presented new evidence, the space agency said in a statement. It's the first time in recent memory that a NASA center has challenged a headquarters decision on a canceled mission, said NASA spokeswoman...
  • Icy World Found Inside Asteroid

    09/30/2005 8:19:40 PM PDT · by blam · 41 replies · 1,029+ views
    Science News Magazine ^ | 9-30-2005 | Ron Cowen
    Icy world found inside asteroid Ron Cowen New observations of Ceres, the largest known asteroid, suggest that frozen water may account for as much as 25 percent of its interior. If this is true, the volume of ice on Ceres would be greater than that of all the fresh water on Earth. CERES SERIES. This sequence of Hubble images reveals a bright spot of unknown origin on Ceres during a quarter-turn of the asteroid's 9-hour rotation. Thomas, et al., NASA The evidence comes from Hubble Space Telescope images showing that the 930-kilometer-wide asteroid is smooth and almost perfectly round. Simulations...