NASA's Dawn collects a bounty of beauty from Vesta

Sep 16, 2011 By Priscilla Vega
This image obtained by the framing camera on NASA's Dawn spacecraft shows the south pole of the giant asteroid Vesta. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

(PhysOrg.com) -- A new video from NASA's Dawn spacecraft takes us on a flyover journey above the surface of the giant asteroid Vesta.

The data obtained by Dawn's framing camera, used to produce the visualizations, will help scientists determine the processes that formed Vesta's striking features. It will also help Dawn mission fans all over the world visualize this mysterious world, which is the second most massive object in the .

The video, which shows Vesta as seen from Dawn's perspective, can be viewed below:

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

You'll notice in the video that Vesta is not entirely lit up. There is no light in the high northern latitudes because, like Earth, Vesta has seasons. Currently it is northern winter on Vesta, and the northern polar region is in perpetual darkness. When we view Vesta's rotation from above the south pole, half is in darkness simply because half of Vesta is in daylight and half is in the darkness of night .

The south pole of the giant asteroid Vesta reveals cliffs that are several miles or kilometers high, deep grooves, and craters. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

Another distinct feature seen in the video is a massive circular structure in the south pole region. Scientists were particularly eager to see this area close-up, since NASA's first detected it years ago. The circular structure, or depression, is several hundreds of miles, or kilometers, wide, with cliffs that are also several miles high. One impressive mountain in the center of the depression rises approximately 9 miles (15 kilometers) above the base of this depression, making it one of the highest elevations on all known bodies with in the solar system.

The collection of images, obtained when Dawn was about 1,700 miles (2,700 kilometers) above Vesta's surface, was used to determine its rotational axis and a system of latitude and longitude coordinates. One of the first tasks tackled by the Dawn science team was to determine the precise orientation of Vesta's relative to the celestial sphere.

This false-color image obtained by NASA's Dawn spacecraft shows a crater on the giant asteroid Vesta. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

The zero-longitude, or prime meridian, of Vesta was defined by the science team using a tiny crater about 1,640 feet (500 meters) in diameter, which they named "Claudia," after a Roman woman during the second century B.C. Dawn's craters will be named after the vestal virgins-the priestesses of the goddess Vesta, and famous Roman women, while other features will be named for festivals and towns of that era.

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omatumr
1.3 / 5 (13) Sep 16, 2011
Thanks for the beautiful images.

Like the Moon, Vesta is not nearly as hospitable as our beautiful planet, but it may contain important new information on the origin of the solar system and its elements [1].

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA Principal
Investigator for Apollo

1. "Origin of elements in the Solar System", in The Origin
of the Elements in the Solar System: Implications of Post 1957 Observations, O. K. Manuel, editor, Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York, NY, pp. 589-643 (2000):

www.omatumr.com/a...book.pdf
TopherTO
5 / 5 (12) Sep 16, 2011
Did you just quote yourself from 11 years ago Omatumr? And a rather weak quote at that I may add
Skultch
5 / 5 (12) Sep 16, 2011
More thinly veiled spam from our favorite crank.

Can't wait for October.
juztmythoughtz
5 / 5 (6) Sep 16, 2011
I'm surprised he didn't go on one of his completely-unrelated-to-the-article-conspiracy-theory/rants again.

e.g: omatumr: These lovely photos of Vesta yet again proves that man-made global warming is a myth. See my 50 articles, and please buy my books - I was involved with the Apollo program, so pasting the links is NOT spamming
Nanobanano
1.4 / 5 (13) Sep 16, 2011
I'm looking at this video a few times, and I can't help but notice how cratered this asteroid really is.

It has far more craters even than does the moon.

I don't think "all" of these craters could have reasonably come from collisions, and I'd propose an alternative mechanism: "Hot Springs".

Ok, not exactly like on earth, but imagine a molten rock with some gassified inclusions...

http://en.wikiped...bove.jpg

Notice how the hot spring has some crater-like features, and if it was bone dry, you might even mistake it for an "older" crater.

Another thing that comes to mind is the methane gas bubbles that form off the east coast of the U.S. and have been blamed for smoe of the mysterious accidents in bermuda triangle region.

Another hypothesis is ordinary magmatic outgassing from a molten object.

It's large by "asteroid standards," but small by planetary standards. It shouldn't get hit that often...
Nanobanano
1.5 / 5 (11) Sep 16, 2011
And this thing certainly doesn't look like anyone's concept of an asteroid that "formed" by acretion.

It quite literally looks like a giant ball of magma came from "somewhere" and then just cooled in space as a single object, and perhaps had some small eruptions and subsequent collisions during it's cooling phase.

At this resolution of this video, it doesn't show any obvious evidence of faulting. Nor do I see evidence of being an object resulting from the collision and re-melting of smaller bodies, for example.

It appears completely monolithic (excluding the sediment from the crater ejecta,) which not even the earth is monolith, but has tectonics and faults.

How could acretion possibly explain it being so monolithic.

Based on some quick, overly simplified calculations, the maximum internal pressure is at most 29,900PSI at the center of the core.

Is this enough to keep melted rock from core to surface during acretion?
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.1 / 5 (11) Sep 16, 2011
I don't think "all" of these craters could have reasonably come from collisions, and I'd propose an alternative mechanism: "Hot Springs".
Youd propose. QC the omni-expert and polymath would propose a mechanism in a subject he knows nothing about. And actually think people would CARE what he would propose from his position of profound ignorance.

Hey QC did you check out that thread about the celestial mechanics which youre also (not) an expert on? Gswift7 took the time to unravel your nonsense.

I was right.
Another thing that comes to mind is the methane gas bubbles that form off the east coast of the U.S. and have been blamed for smoe of the mysterious accidents in bermuda triangle region.
S_T_F_U
It shouldn't get hit that often...
-Says the idiot who knows NOTHING about the subject.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.4 / 5 (10) Sep 16, 2011
It quite literally looks like a giant ball of magma came from "somewhere" and then just cooled in space as a single object, and perhaps had some small eruptions and subsequent collisions during it's cooling phase.
No it doesnt QC it quite literally looks like you have absolutely nothing of value to say whatsoever about what this may look like. Maybe it looks like a pizza. Maybe it looks like silly putty you put on the stove. Maybe it looks like yet more embarrassing nonsense from someone whos pretty obviously unbalanced.
omatumr
1.3 / 5 (12) Sep 16, 2011
It quite literally looks like a giant ball of magma came from "somewhere" and then just cooled in space as a single object, and perhaps had some small eruptions and subsequent collisions during it's cooling phase.
No it doesnt QC it quite literally looks like you have absolutely nothing of value to say whatsoever about what this may look like. Maybe it looks like a pizza. Maybe it looks like silly putty you put on the stove. Maybe it looks like yet more embarrassing nonsense from someone whos pretty obviously unbalanced.


Please address experimental evidence that iron meteorites formed directly from fresh supernova debris, without ever being ejected to the interstellar medium:

www.omatumr.com/D...Data.htm

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Jonseer
2.6 / 5 (5) Sep 16, 2011
While the video is fun, the detail needed to construct any serious theory about what the landforms mean (beyond probably being craters) isn't there, nor is there any tangible proof yet regarding Vesta's origins outside of the consensus opinion among Astronomers regarding the origin of the solar system.

We can all say it looks like this or that; it reminds me of something Etc., but that is not a sufficient base on which to hang a theory no matter how bare bones, though doing so is probably a good way to make people laugh.
RealScience
5 / 5 (6) Sep 16, 2011
Nano - Vesta is in the main asteroid belt (as the article says), so it should get hit a lot more than our moon.
Vesta is large enough to have melted in its youth (from radioactive decay plus gravitational energy from accretion), so it should look like a ball of cooled magma that has be hit repeatedly since.
In Vesta's case Vesta is thought to have melted for long enough to have differentiated and have a denser core with a rocky exterior.
Your calculation for the approximate pressure at the core is correct, but it is not pressure that keeps magma down, it is density or simply a lack of time for the slight buoyancy of hotter rock versus cooler rock to overcome viscosity.
scidog
5 / 5 (3) Sep 17, 2011
is there enough information from the scans of Vesta to run that thru one of those 3D printers and come up with a model you could hold and study? over at Boing Boing i've seen some odd stuff come out of those gizmos.
Ethelred
4.1 / 5 (9) Sep 17, 2011
Please address experimental evidence that iron meteorites formed directly from fresh supernova debris, without ever being ejected to the interstellar medium:
You have NO business demanding that others do things that you refuse to do yourself.

Recent questions YOU refuse to deal with
Heck you can't even admit that you blew it with that link that showed you were pushing garbage for weeks.

Where is the evidence that neutrons repel each other in a way that is different from the Pauli Exclusion Principle?

Where is that evidence for Iron in the those solar flares? Sure isn't in this article.

Where is someone, someone remotely competent as opposed to the South African geologist, that supports your idea that the Sun is a pulsar? And how can a pulsar form IF there is such a thing as neutron repulsion?
>>
Ethelred
4.3 / 5 (11) Sep 17, 2011
How could degenerate matter form with that going on keeping in mind your contradictory claim that neutron repulsion makes Black Holes impossible despite the math not working for you at all?

Where is the evidence for ANY of those claims. Where was is it in that letter you CLAIMED had evidence? WHERE?


Just to annoy you with reality I will address your question anyway.

There is no evidence that actually supports that claim. Just evidence that a stellar explosion was involved in the beginning of our Solar System. There is NO evidence that supports your counter physical claim that the sun that exploded was Sol. Vaporization temperatures are more than adequate to understand why the rocky planets formed in the inner system and the gas planets couldn't form that far in due to radiation pressure on the light gasses.

So are you going to answer or run away again? Will it be more intellectual cowardice and spam or will you FINALLY engage in rational, reasoned, discourse?

Ethelred
GSwift7
1 / 5 (2) Sep 18, 2011
we need to learn about these things. Every bit of knowledge we can get is great. We will need to know everything about them one day, or pay the price. I heard an opinion piece recently in regard to the chinese plan to go out and grab a small asteroid. IF you can grab one and bring it into earth orbit, then you can also drop one onto new york or washington. That's a scary thought. Even just landing one in the north atlantic would be enough to do us in.
GSwift7
1 / 5 (4) Sep 18, 2011
Of course, back in the real world, by the time anyone is able to do that, everyone else will be able to do something about it. I would guess that it would be easy to defeat such a plan before it was too late. It would seem easier to just use nukes. If china tried to throw a rock at us, I'm sure we would turn half their land to glass first.
omatumr
1 / 5 (12) Sep 18, 2011
Threats of nuclear war gave rise to Hippies and to secret agreements among world leaders to endorse the Bilderberg model of a stable H-filled Sun and global climate change as the common enemy to unite nations and promote world peace [1]:

1. "Historical roots of Climategate"

http://en.wikiped..._Mao.jpg

http://dl.dropbox...oots.pdf

http://dl.dropbox...oots.doc

But Earth is heated by a variable star, powered by neutron repulsion in its neutron-rich core. That is why Earth's climate has always changed and life continues to evolve [2]:

2. "Origin and evolution of life"

http://dl.dropbox...5079.pdf

As shown above fanaticism replaced consensus science when errors were found in claims we caused global climate change [3]:

3. Meteorologist Director fired!

www.climategate.c...ekes.pdf

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Jayded
5 / 5 (3) Sep 19, 2011
Omatumr - You were doing so well, you almost sounded semi literate but then you had to come up with your rubbish again. A perfectly decent bunch of responses dredged through the mud with your conspiracy theories. Honestly dude, its guys like you that make me appreciate the need for water boarding.
Ethelred
4.4 / 5 (7) Sep 19, 2011
I see you can't answer Oliver.

What is so difficult about answering questions? Reality have your tongue?

I know why you can't answer the questions. The answer is that you are wrong on neutron repulsion and you have to create a vast conspiracy to protect your tender ego.

Baby steps Oliver.

1] Did you read the letter you linked to?
2] Why did you link to it?
3] What was it supposed to show?
4] Since it doesn't support the claim of conspiracy you need to admit that you were wrong about the link
6] You have the power to admit you could be wrong on this
7] You do not have the power to create a conspiracy where there never was one
8] You should write an apology on all the threads you posted that crap on
9] You should apologize to all the politicians you falsely accused
10] You apologize to all the scientists you accused
11] You should apologize to all the people you gave unwarranted ones to
12] You should promise YOURSELF not to Crank again.

A nice 12 step program

Ethelred
omatumr
1 / 5 (10) Sep 19, 2011
The beginning of global climate change:

http://en.wikiped..._Mao.jpg
Magnette
5 / 5 (6) Sep 19, 2011
Ethelred...

You've missed step 5 out but that's ok as he'll never get that far anyway.
roboferret
5 / 5 (5) Sep 19, 2011
What did the Hippies do you you? And what the hell has any of that to do with the article?

Is your credibility so shot that the only way you can get attention is by spouting non-sequiturs on unrelated articles in a popular science website? If you don't want to be seen as a crank, stop acting like one. Publish or die, I refrain from expressing a preference.

I find it helps to imagine your comments being spoken in the voice of Walter from the TV series Fringe. The similarities are uncanny. Maybe you should lay off the acid.

FrankHerbert
0.8 / 5 (50) Sep 19, 2011
The difference being Walter is occasionally brilliant.
omatumr
1 / 5 (7) Sep 19, 2011
International agreements among world leaders in the early 1970s:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F ile:Kissinger_Mao.jpg

1. Assumed the validity of the

a.) Bilderberg Sun [1] as a stable heat source, and
b.) Earth-centered model of global climate change [2]

2. And agreed to work together to

c.) Unite nations
d.) Avoid nuclear war
e.) End the space race

1. "Bilderberg Sun" (1967)
http://articles.adsabs.harvard .edu/cgi-bin/nph-iarticle_ query?bibcode=1968SoPh.3.5G& db_key=AST&page_ind=0&data_ type=GIF&type=SCREEN_VIEW& classic=YES

2. "Deep Roots of Climategate" (2011)
http://dl.dropbox...oots.pdf

http://dl.dropbox...oots.doc
Ethelred
4.3 / 5 (6) Sep 19, 2011
Do you have a shred of evidence besides the voices in your head to support this claim Oliver?

And I already pointed out that Kissinger did NOT meet Mao until after the letter you linked too. In public. Not secretly in the initial secret meeting as you claimed.

Do try to post stuff that actually relates to what you are responding to.

Have you read the letter you linked to? Why did you post it?

If you can't answer these questions Oliver I will have no choice but to think you just another spammer and start hitting the Report Abuse button. Responding to questions with the same crap is not a response and on many science sites is grounds for banning. Indeed YOU have been banned that way.

Time for another banning if you refuse to engage in reasoned discourse.

Ethelred
uhjim
5 / 5 (2) Oct 12, 2011
Hippies spawned by fear? About that idea of yours, "Not only is it not right, it's not even wrong".

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