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[VIDEO] Dawn Spacecraft Captures View Of Approaching Asteroid

By: Michael VanDeMar to astronomy,space

Giant asteroid Vesta, as captured by the Dawn spacecraft as it approaches


On June 1st, 2011, the Dawn spacecraft captured the images used in the video below as it approached the 330 mile diameter giant asteroid Vesta, the second largest object in the asteroid belt (with the largest object being the dwarf planet Ceres, the other target of Dawn’s mission):


This movie shows surface details beginning to resolve as NASA’s Dawn spacecraft closes in on the giant asteroid Vesta. The framing camera aboard NASA’s Dawn spacecraft obtained the images used for this animation on June 1, 2011, from a distance of about 300,000 miles (483,000 kilometers). (via NASA)


Vesta image courtesy of NASA

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