Posts Tagged ‘ceres’

Rendezvous with a Protoplanet: NASA’s DAWN and Vesta

Vesta - Asteroid and Protoplanet

Did you know that on September 27, 2007, NASA launched a mission to rendezvous with a protoplanet?  Well, here it is almost four years later and NASA reported that the DAWN probe successfully entered into orbit around Vesta on July 15, 2011.  We are just beginning to see the first images of Vesta, an object in the asteroid belt which is DAWN’s first stop in it’s ten year mission. 

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Where in the Solar System is the Asteroid Belt?

asteroid belt

NASA Rendering of the Asteroid Belt

I’ve been thinking about asteroids this week.  Did you know that on October 12, 2010 an asteroid called 2010 TD54 passed within 28,000 miles of the Earth?  That’s pretty close.  In fact, it passed within the orbit of the moon and close to the orbit of some of our own satellites. Read the rest of this entry >>