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

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.

Science

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...

Mission

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...

Cameras

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...