[meteorite-list] Dawn Captures Video of Asteroid Vesta Approach

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Mon, 13 Jun 2011 13:52:23 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <201106132052.p5DKqN5e013459_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>

June 13, 2011

Dwayne Brown
Headquarters, Washington
dwayne.c.brown at nasa.gov

Jia-Rui Cook
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
jccook at jpl.nasa.gov

RELEASE: 11-182


WASHINGTON -- Scientists working with NASA's Dawn spacecraft have
created a new video showing the giant asteroid Vesta as the
spacecraft approaches this unexplored world in the main asteroid

The video loops 20 images obtained for navigation purposes on June 1.
The images show a dark feature near Vesta's equator moving from left
to right across the field of view as Vesta rotates. Images also show
Vesta's jagged, irregular shape, hinting at the enormous crater known
to exist at Vesta's south pole.

To see the video, visit:


The images were obtained by a framing camera during a 30-minute period
and show about 30 degrees of a rotation. The pixel size in these
images is approaching the resolution of the best Hubble Space
Telescope images of Vesta.

"Like strangers in a strange land, we're looking for familiar
landmarks," said Jian-Yang Li, a Dawn participating scientist from
the University of Maryland, College Park. "The shadowy spot is one of
those - it appears to match a feature, known as 'Feature B,' from
images of Vesta taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope."

Before orbiting Vesta on July 16, Dawn will gently slow down to about
75 mph (120 kph). NASA is expecting to release more images on a
weekly basis, with more frequent images available once the spacecraft
begins collecting science at Vesta.

"Vesta is coming more and more into focus," said Andreas Nathues,
framing camera lead investigator, based at the Max Planck Institute
for Solar System Research, Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany. "Dawn's
framing camera is working exactly as anticipated."

The mission is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in
Pasadena, Calif., for the agency's Science Mission Directorate in
Washington. Dawn is a project of the directorate's Discovery Program,
managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.
UCLA is responsible for overall Dawn mission science. Orbital
Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Va., designed and built the Dawn
spacecraft. The framing cameras were developed and built under the
leadership of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in
Katlenburg-Lindau, Germay.

The German Aerospace Center (DLR) Institute of Planetary Research in
Berlin made significant contributions in coordination with the
Institute of Computer and Communication Network Engineering in
Braunschweig. The framing camera project is funded by the Max Planck
Society, DLR and NASA.

The video from Dawn also will air Monday afternoon on NASA
Television's Video File. For NASA TV downlink information, schedules
and links to streaming video, visit:

Received on Mon 13 Jun 2011 04:52:23 PM PDT

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