Dawn reality checks telescope studies of asteroids

Tantalized by images from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and ground-based data, scientists thought the giant asteroid Vesta deserved a closer look. They got a chance to do that in 2011 and 2012, when NASA's Dawn spacecraft orbited the giant asteroid, and they were able to check earlier conclusions.

Vesta shows new type of weathering

The highly-patterned surface of the giant asteroid Vesta is caused by a long history of strikes from hundreds of other, smaller asteroids.

Vesta 'stretch marks' suggest it's a stunted planet

Enormous troughs that encircle the asteroid Vesta may be faults that formed when another asteroid smacked into its south pole, and indicate that it has the same type of interior as a planet.

Video: Hydrated minerals spotted on giant asteroid



Recent images snapped by NASA's Dawn spacecraft confirm that volatile, or easily evaporated materials, have colored Vesta's surface in a broad swath around its equator.

Signs of water found on giant asteroid

NASA's Dawn spacecraft has discovered evidence of water on the surface of the asteroid Vesta - but not much of it.

NASA's Dawn prepares to set sail for Ceres


NASA's Dawn spacecraft remains on track to become the first probe to orbit and study two distant solar system locations.



Vesta asteroid is shrouded in many colors

A new video shot by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft depicts a dappled, variegated surface of the giant asteroid Vesta. 



Vesta asteroid is ancient protoplanet

The asteroid Vesta is more like a planet or a moon, new data from NASA's Dawn spacecraft shows.

Dawn probe spots unusual features on giant asteroid

Scientists studying images of the giant asteroid Vesta are working to explain the existence of a number of bright spots.

What color is the Vesta asteroid?

Since last July, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has been orbiting the asteroid Vesta and transmitting gigabytes of images and other relevant data.

Dawn probe sends back images of asteroid

NASA's Dawn probe is beginning the first of four science orbits, and has sent back its first close-up images.

Dawn spacecraft to reach giant asteroid today

Today, after a four-year journey, NASA's Dawn spacecraft will go into orbit around the asteroid Vesta, where it will stay and make observations for a year.