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News from Dawn's Science Team

Dr. Rhian Jones demonstrates the scanning electron micrscope.
Combination of Hubble Space Telescope image of Vesta (top) and a cool composite image of Vesta's landscape from framing camera images (below).Image credit: NASA/JPLCaltech/UCLA/MPS/ DLR/IDA

Before July 2011, Vesta was only a series of modest images brought to us by the Hubble Space telescope, enough to tantalize and inspire the Dawn mission, but essentially an unexplored new world in our solar system.

Thousands of images and other data downloads later, Dawn's science team is rising from intense work analyzing all the new information gathered during the survey and high altitude mapping orbits.

At the American Geophysical Union Meeting in December 2011, Principal Investigator Chris Russell led a series of presentations from members of the Dawn science team and from the science community at large. Each told a different part of Vesta's story, taking data from Dawn's payload of instruments and interpreting from his or her unique perspective and expertise. The international science community pondered science team findings relating to the early results about the mineral composition, topography, and geomorphology of Vesta.

What next? The team takes all those distinctive stories about aspects of Vesta and digs deeper into the details until it can weave them into one large story of this newly explored world. The Dawn team's exciting work has just begun!

How can you stay tuned?

  • Watch the videos of Dawn's sessions at the American Geophysical Union meeting on December 6, 2011.

Artist rendering of Dawn spacecraft orbiting asteroid, Vesta
    Dawn Science team 2008
    Hubbel image of Vesta
    Photo of Dawn launch, September 2007
- Mission Objectives
- Dawn Discoveries
- The Main Asteroid Belt Article

    Dawn Science Team Meetings
- Read about the November 2010 Science Team meeting
- Dawn Science Team meeting archive
    Hubble Images of Asteroids
Learn how the Hubble Space Telescope paves the way for the Dawn science mission.
- Read more
- See Vesta by Hubble Image Gallery

    Dawn's Early Light Archive
A newsletter to keep the scientific community informed.
- Newsletter archive

Measuring meteorite
    Panel at The Great Planet Debate, top scientists and educators will convene to explore a basic, but controversial, question: What is a planet?
    Vesta shape model overlaid with a false texture maps
    Each image on this mosaic is of the same location observed by Dawns Framing Camera when it flew by Mars
Finding Meteorites
- Dr. McFadden Finds Meteorites in Antarctica
- 8/08/08 Webinar on Antarctica Findings (WMV)
- Current Meteorite Expedition

    2008 Great Planet Debate
- Read press release
- See GPD poster
- The Planet Debate Continues Full Article
- Great Planet Debate website

    Science Opportunity Analyzer Images
- Read more

    High Resolution Stereo Camera Image Composite (HRSC)
- Read more

Asteroid 21459 Chris Russell
    Image of an impact crater on the moon
Asteroid 21459 Chris Russell
- About PI Chris Russell
- Interview with Chris Russell

    Podcasts from 2007 Dawn Launch Educator Conference
- Cratering Lecture
- What Makes a Planet? Lecture