Vesta

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Introduction1

Encyclopedia

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

Encyclopædia Britannica

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More News …

Phys.org - latest science and technology news stories Phys.org internet news portal provides the latest news on science including: Physics, Nanotechnology, Life Sciences, Space Science, Earth Science, Environment, Health and Medicine.

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  • Dwarf planet Vesta serves as a window to the...
    on October 6, 2021 at 8:03 pm

    The dwarf planet Vesta is helping scientists better understand the earliest era in the formation of our solar system. Two recent papers involving scientists from the University of California, Davis, use data from meteorites derived from Vesta to resolve the "missing mantle problem" and push back our knowledge of the solar system to just a couple of million years after it began to form. The papers were published in Nature Communications Sept. 14 and Nature Astronomy Sept. 30.

  • Solar electric propulsion makes NASA's Psyche...
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  • Mars habitability limited by its small size,...
    on September 20, 2021 at 8:00 pm

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  • Geologists propose theory about a famous asteroid
    on August 31, 2021 at 5:23 pm

    The asteroid Vesta is the second largest asteroid in our Solar System. With a diameter of about 330 miles, it orbits the sun between the planets Mars and Jupiter.

  • Asteroid 16 Psyche might not be what scientists...
    on June 9, 2021 at 9:28 pm

    The widely studied metallic asteroid known as 16 Psyche was long thought to be the exposed iron core of a small planet that failed to form during the earliest days of the solar system. But new University of Arizona-led research suggests that the asteroid might not be as metallic or dense as once thought, and hints at a much different origin story.

  • Asteroid that hit Botswana in 2018 likely came...
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  • Extinct atom reveals the long-kept secrets of the...
    on March 2, 2021 at 3:01 pm

    Using the extinct niobium-92 atom, ETH researchers have been able to date events in the early solar system with greater precision than before. The study concludes that supernova explosions must have taken place in the birth environment of our sun.

  • NASA's OSIRIS-REx to asteroid Bennu: 'You've got...
    on September 22, 2020 at 2:21 pm

    In an interplanetary faux pas, it appears some pieces of asteroid Vesta ended up on asteroid Bennu, according to observations from NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. The new result sheds light on the intricate orbital dance of asteroids and on the violent origin of Bennu, which is a "rubble pile" asteroid that coalesced from the fragments of a massive collision.

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Related

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Knowledge Realm

Physical

“Fundamentals”
Law (Constant) Relativity
Force Gravity, Electromagnetism (Light, Color)
Matter (Microscope) Molecule, Atom (Periodic Table), Particle

“Space”
Universe (Astronomical Instrument)
Galaxy Milky Way, Andromeda
Planetary System Star, Brown Dwarf, Planet, Moon

Our Neighborhood
Solar System Sun
Terrestrial Planet Mercury, Venus, Earth (Moon), Mars
Asteroid Belt Ceres, Vesta
Jovian Planet Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
Trans-Neptunian Object
Kuiper Belt Pluto, Haumea, Makemake
Scattered Disc Eris, Sedna, Planet X
Oort Cloud Etc. Scholz’s Star
Small Body Comet, Centaur, Asteroid

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Notes

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