Nasa’s DAWN spacecraft has begun sending images of Vesta’s violent past. The craters, slopes, Lava Flows and grooved surface revealed in the first rounds of images is simply awesome. From the outside, Vesta looks like a punctured football, the result of a colossal collision sometime in its past that knocked off its south polar region.
“We are beginning the study of arguably the oldest extant primordial surface in the Solar System,” said Dawn’s principal investigator Christopher Russell from the University of California, Los Angeles.
“This region of space has been ignored for far too long. So far, the images received to date reveal a complex surface that seems to have preserved some of the earliest events in Vesta’s history, as well as logging the onslaught that Vesta has suffered in the intervening eons.”
Scientist say that much of Vesta’s rubble that was flung off during the impacts have made their way to earth in the form of meteorites. In fact you may not be sitting to far from a piece of Vesta as you read this.
Check out the JPL Blog for more cool information!