Max-Plank-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung Max-Planck-Gesellschaft DAWN - Eine Reise zu den Anfängen des Sonnensystems


28.01.2015: Large craters and a bright spot

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has captured new images of dwarf planet Ceres. They show surface structures with a resolution of 22 kilometers per pixel.  More

19.01.2015: Dawn: Approaching Dwarf Planet Ceres

NASA's spacecraft Dawn has begun its approach of dwarf planet Ceres. Already, images suggest features such as large craters on the body's surface.  More

08.12.2014: A glance at a new world ahead

NASA's Dawn spacecraft sends the first resolved image of its next destination, the dwarf planet Ceres, to Earth. Dawn’s capture by Ceres is scheduled for March 2015.  More

04.07.2014: Vesta’s rocky history

The dark material found on the protoplanet Vesta contains the mineral serpentine - and must therefore be of exogenic origin.  More

27.09.2013: Dawn Reality-Checks Telescope Studies of Asteroids

Scientists can now compare features first seen at a distance through a telescope to those seen up-close by an orbiting spacecraft. More

03.01.2013: Vesta: Giant impacts delivered carbon

Large collisions between asteroids transferred carbonaceous material in the inner solar system.  More

30.08.2012: A Farewell to Vesta

NASA's space probe Dawn is scheduled to leave asteroid Vesta on Wednesday, September 5th, and head for its next destination, the dwarf planet Ceres.  More

10.05.2012: Vesta seen in colors

New results prove that Dawn’s target asteroid Vesta is a relict from an early phase of planetary evolution.  More

16.09.2011: Vesta in false-colors

First false-color maps of the asteroid show unique surface variations.  More

Anaglyphenbild von Vesta

11.08.2011: NASA’s Asteroid Photographer Beams Back Science Data

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft is now in its first science-collecting orbit at Vesta. More

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the asteroid Vesta

The targets of the Dawn mission could not be more different: While Vesta once had a hot, molten interior that produced lava flows, Ceres has always been a cold body, under whose surface possibly frozen water can be found. In addition, both bodies allow for a look back into an early phase of our solar system. Both asteroids are among the largest survivors from this early phase of planet formation.  more...


Dawn studies an asteroid

Dawn is a NASA mission managed by the Jet Propulaion Laboratory (JPL). Its aim is to visit and study the protoplanet Vesta and the dwarf planet Ceres.  The space probe encountered its first destination, the protoplanet Vesta, in July 2011 and accompanied it for more than a year. Currently, Dawn is en route to its second destination. It will presumably reach Ceres in the beginning of 2015.   more...


opened door of Framing Camera

The mission's success crucially depends on the two cameras, Dawn's eyes. The cameras were developed and built under the leadership of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research with significant contributions by the Institute for Planetary Research of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and in coordination with the Institute of Computer and Communication Network Engineering of the Technical University Braunschweig.  more...