Solar System Sun
Terrestrial Planet Mercury, Venus, Earth (Moon), Mars
Asteroid Belt Ceres, Vesta
Jovian Planet Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
Kuiper Belt Pluto, Haumea, Makemake
Scattered Disc Eris, Sedna, Planet X
Oort Cloud Etc. Scholz’s Star
Small Body Comet, Centaur, Asteroid
These are organized by a classification scheme developed exclusively for Cosma. More…
Vesta, minor-planet designation 4 Vesta, is one of the largest objects in the asteroid belt, with a mean diameter of 525 kilometres (326 mi). It was discovered by the German astronomer Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers on 29 March 1807 and is named after Vesta, the virgin goddess of home and hearth from Roman mythology.
Vesta is the second-most-massive and second-largest body in the asteroid belt after the dwarf planet Ceres, and it contributes an estimated 9% of the mass of the asteroid belt. Vesta is the only known remaining rocky protoplanet (with a differentiated interior) of the kind that formed the terrestrial planets. Numerous fragments of Vesta were ejected by collisions one and two billion years ago that left two enormous craters occupying much of Vesta’s southern hemisphere. Debris from these events has fallen to Earth as howardite–eucrite–diogenite (HED) meteorites, which have been a rich source of information about Vesta.
Vesta is the brightest asteroid visible from Earth. Its maximum distance from the Sun is slightly greater than the minimum distance of Ceres from the Sun, though its orbit lies entirely within that of Ceres.
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft entered orbit around Vesta on 16 July 2011 for a one-year exploration and left orbit on 5 September 2012 en route to its final destination, Ceres. Researchers continue to examine data collected by Dawn for additional insights into the formation and history of Vesta. — Wikipedia
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Study reveals details of 'golf ball asteroid'
on February 11, 2020 at 3:54 pm
Asteroids come in all shapes and sizes, and now astronomers at MIT and elsewhere have observed an asteroid so heavily cratered that they are dubbing it the "golf ball asteroid."
Capturing alien comets: Simulating rogue bodies...
on December 20, 2019 at 2:49 pm
There should be interstellar comets hiding in our solar system after making a journey of many light-years. Maybe we have already seen one but believed it was a "normal" comet formed in the solar system, according to Tom Hands, astrophysicist at the University of Zürich and member of the NCCR PlanetS.
Stardust from red giants
on December 10, 2019 at 1:09 pm
Some of the Earth's building material was stardust from red giants, researchers from ETH Zurich have established. They have also explained why the Earth contains more of this stardust than the asteroids or the planet Mars, which are farther from the sun.
First global geologic map of Saturn's largest...
on November 18, 2019 at 6:09 pm
The first map showing the global geology of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, has been completed and fully reveals a dynamic world of dunes, lakes, plains, craters and other terrains.
ESO telescope reveals what could be the smallest...
on October 28, 2019 at 5:00 pm
Astronomers using ESO's SPHERE instrument at the Very Large Telescope (VLT) have revealed that the asteroid Hygiea could be classified as a dwarf planet. The object is the fourth largest in the asteroid belt after Ceres, Vesta and Pallas. For the first time, astronomers have observed Hygiea in sufficiently high resolution to study its surface and determine its shape and size. They found that Hygiea is spherical, potentially taking the crown from Ceres as the smallest dwarf planet in the Solar […]
Researcher calculates optimal trajectories to...
on September 12, 2019 at 3:34 pm
RUDN University mathematician has proposed a method for calculating the optimal trajectory of spacecraft with electric propulsion, whose thrust is thousands times less than chemical one has, but it is able to work for years. These motors are best suited for interplanetary missions. Mathematicians calculated the flight parameters of the space probe with such motor to Mars and Mercury. The paper is published in the journal Cosmic Research.
Image: Ahuna Mons on Ceres
on July 29, 2019 at 2:13 pm
This image, based on observations from NASA's Dawn spacecraft, shows the largest mountain on the dwarf planet Ceres.
Study of mesosiderite zircons suggests Vesta was...
on June 11, 2019 at 2:09 pm
A team of researchers from Australia, Switzerland and Japan has found evidence suggesting that the asteroid Vesta was stuck by a very large rock approximately 4.5 billion years ago. In their paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience, the group describes their study of the asteroid and what they believe is material from it.
ESA's Hera asteroid mission borrows eyes of...
on March 19, 2019 at 12:50 pm
The mission to the smallest asteroid ever explored will employ the same main camera as the mission to the largest asteroids of all. ESA's proposed Hera spacecraft to the Didymos asteroid pair has inherited its main imager from NASA's Dawn mission to the Vesta and Ceres asteroids.
Video: Big questions about small worlds
on February 18, 2019 at 1:00 pm
Scientists who study the solar system tend to ask big questions: How was our solar system formed? Where did the building blocks of life come from? What hazards from above threaten life on our planet? To find answers, they're looking more and more at small worlds.