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NASA's Dawn Spacecraft Captures First Image of Nearing Asteroid

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posted on May, 11 2011 @ 10:58 AM
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NASA's Dawn Spacecraft Captures First Image of Nearing Asteroid


www.sciencedaily.com

NASA's Dawn spacecraft has obtained its first image of the giant asteroid Vesta, which will help fine-tune navigation during its approach. Dawn is expected to achieve orbit around Vesta on July 16, when the asteroid is about 188 million kilometers (117 million miles) from Earth.

(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on May, 11 2011 @ 10:58 AM
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*** This is NOT Nibiru *** This is NOT Elenin ***

Scientists are planning on having their Dawn spacecraft go into orbit around Vesta.



The image from Dawn's framing cameras was taken on May 3 when the spacecraft began its approach and was approximately 1.21 million kilometers (752,000 miles) from Vesta. The asteroid appears as a small, bright pearl against a background of stars. Vesta is also known as a protoplanet, because it is a large body that almost formed into a planet.


Vesta is 530 kilometers (330 miles) in diameter and the second most massive object in the asteroid belt.


www.sciencedaily.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on May, 11 2011 @ 11:01 AM
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reply to post by Thermo Klein
 


The title is extremely misleading; Vesta is not a "nearing asteroid," it is a well behaved member of the asteroid belt.



posted on May, 11 2011 @ 11:01 AM
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Mission managers expect Vesta's gravity to capture Dawn in orbit on July 16. To enter orbit, Dawn must match the asteroid's path around the sun, which requires very precise knowledge of the body's location and speed. By analyzing where Vesta appears relative to stars in framing camera images, navigators will pin down its location and enable engineers to refine the spacecraft's trajectory.

Dawn will start collecting science data in early August at an altitude of approximately 1,700 miles (2,700 kilometers) above the asteroid's surface. As the spacecraft gets closer, it will snap multi-angle images, allowing scientists to produce topographic maps. Dawn will later orbit at approximately 200 kilometers (120 miles) to perform other measurements and obtain closer shots of parts of the surface. Dawn will remain in orbit around Vesta for one year. After another long cruise phase, Dawn will arrive in 2015 at its second destination, Ceres, an even more massive body in the asteroid belt.





posted on May, 11 2011 @ 11:02 AM
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Originally posted by DJW001
reply to post by Thermo Klein
 


The title is extremely misleading; Vesta is not a "nearing asteroid," it is a well behaved member of the asteroid belt.


The title is from ScienceDaily and it is ATS's guidelines that "Breaking News" uses the exact title from the source.



posted on May, 11 2011 @ 11:03 AM
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The headline should read:

IMAGE OF "VESTA" NOT THE "BESTA."

That's a terrible image. A bright white TINY orb.



posted on May, 11 2011 @ 11:18 AM
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reply to post by GhostLancer
 


Some people are never satisfied.



posted on May, 11 2011 @ 02:07 PM
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The thread title refers to the fact that the spacecraft is nearing the asteroid. This is only the first image, to orient the camera and fine-tune navigation. Expect better images to come. This is very exciting. Many meteorites found on Earth are thought to have originated from Vesta. Now, scientists may be able to confirm that theory.



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