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NASA's Dawn spacecraft undressing asteroid Vesta


March 7, 2012 - Washington

NASA's Dawn spacecraft has revealed a number of new discoveries about Asteroid Vesta, including its relatively colourful exterior, its variable topography, and its unique planet-like core, mantle and crust.

Since last July, the spacecraft has been orbiting the asteroid, and capturing images and other data that are providing surprising results to the delight and amazement of researchers.

Dawn's mission is to help reveal the processes and conditions that marked the first few million years - the dawn - of the solar system; and the information the spacecraft has collected about Vesta is changing the way scientists think about the formation of our early universe.

Born soon after the formation of the solar system, Vesta is a transitional body somewhere between a large asteroid and a small planet.

Details of the finding will appear in the March issue of EARTH Magazine.

ANI

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