New Surface Image of Asteroid Vesta Revealed

NASA has released the first close-up image of the potato-shaped asteroid Vesta. It is the brightest and the second most massive body in the asteroid belt located between Mars and Jupiter object. Vesta is also seen from the earth and it is considered as to be the cause of huge number of meteorites that fall to the earth. This first full-frame image was taken by the NASA's Dawn spacecraft on July 24. The image was taken at a distance of 3,200 miles in order to reveal the primary surface details of the massive asteroid also for navigation purposes.

New Surface Image of Asteroid Vesta Revealed

It is the first time when a human spacecraft Dawn has taken up an orbit around an object in the main asteroid belt of our solar system. The pictures reveal that the South Pole region of Vesta has a part that is 460-kilometer-wide and blown by craters. Also, Vesta has contained much broad and relatively smoothen area at the South Pole. Almost an 80-kilometer area of asteroid is shattered part of Vesta. There are few smaller craters that roughen the surface to the north part of vesta. The region in the north is mysteriously banded by parallel grooves running like lines of latitude around Vesta's asteroid region.

Along with this image, NASA released striking movie which shows full rotation of the 330-mile-wide object of Vesta. Currently, the distance between the asteroid and the spacecraft is 1,800 miles. To provide in-depth analysis of the asteroid, the initial orbit of the Vesta begins Aug. 11 at a height of nearly 1,700 miles. Also Dawn will be dipping to lower altitudes in upcoming months until it is just 200 kilometers higher than the surface.

Video of NASA craft sends images of mega asteroid from youtube:

[link url=http://www.boston.com/news/science/articles/2011/08/02/117_million_miles_away_nasa_craft_orbiting_asteroid_sends_revealing_photos/]

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