Dawn's Survey Orbit as Seen From the Sun

Animation of Dawn's Survey Orbit as Seen From the Sun

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This animation shows the orbit of Dawn during the Survey phase of the mission when seen from the Sun. The solid blue lines represents Dawn’s orbit, the dashed purple line represents Vesta's pole (i.e., spin axis), dotted red line represents Vesta’s prime meridian, dotted white line represents Vesta’s equator, solid red frame represents the camera footprint taken at the time shown in the movie, and the solid green frames represent the camera footprints taken up to the time shown in the movie. The Dawn spacecraft shape is significantly enlarged for visualization and does not represent the actual spacecraft size. Note that the orbits do not get occulted by Vesta when seen from the Sun. This is because the Dawn spacecraft is designed to be in sunlight at all times. This animation is only an approximate representation and should only be used for illustrating aspects of the Dawn mission.

The Dawn mission to Vesta and Ceres is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. It is a project of the Discovery Program managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala. UCLA is responsible for overall Dawn mission science. Orbital Sciences Corporation of Dulles, Va., designed and built the Dawn spacecraft. The German Aerospace Center, the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, the Italian Space Agency and the Italian National Astrophysical Institute are part of the mission team.

For more information about Dawn, visit:

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech