It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
The Hubble Space Telescope has imaged two of the largest known asteroids, revealing craters and other features that will soon be the targets of close-up observations by NASA's Dawn spacecraft.
Ceres is round, like a planet, and 590 miles (950 kilometers) wide. The rock, about the size of Texas, contains some 30 to 40 percent of all the mass in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
Vesta, the other target, is irregularly shaped and about 330 miles (530 kilometers) wide-about the size of Arizona.
On July 7, NASA plans to launch Dawn-a mission that had been cancelled but was reinstated last year-on a four-year journey to the asteroid belt. The robotic probe will go into orbit around Vesta in 2011 and Ceres in 2015. The new images will help astronomers fine tune mission plans.
The images, released today, were taken with Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2.