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). 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. — Wikipedia
Dawn was a space probe that was launched by NASA in September 2007 with the mission of studying two of the three known protoplanets of the asteroid belt: Vesta and Ceres. Dawn entered orbit around Vesta on July 16, 2011, and completed a 14-month survey mission before leaving for Ceres in late 2012. — Wikipedia
Heinrich Olbers discovered Pallas in 1802, the year after the discovery of Ceres. He proposed that the two objects were the remnants of a destroyed planet. He sent a letter with his proposal to the British astronomer William Herschel, suggesting that a search near the locations where the orbits of Ceres and Pallas intersected might reveal more fragments. Olbers commenced his search in 1802, and on 29 March 1807 he discovered Vesta in the constellation Virgo—a coincidence, because Ceres, Pallas, and Vesta are not fragments of a larger body. Because the asteroid Juno had been discovered in 1804, this made Vesta the fourth object to be identified in the region that is now known as the asteroid belt. Because Olbers already had credit for discovering a planet (Pallas; at the time, the asteroids were considered to be planets), he gave the honor of naming his new discovery to German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss, whose orbital calculations had enabled astronomers to confirm the existence of Ceres, the first asteroid, and who had computed the orbit of the new planet in the remarkably short time of 10 hours. Gauss decided on the Roman virgin goddess of home and hearth, Vesta. — Wikipedia
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- Ceres probably formed farther out in the solar...on May 19, 2022 at 2:55 pm
When Sicilian astronomer Giuseppe Piazzi spotted Ceres in 1801, he thought it was a planet. Astronomers didn't know about asteroids at that time. Now we know there's an enormous quantity of them, primarily residing in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
- NASA spots giant debris cloud created by clashing...on March 18, 2022 at 3:35 pm
Major smashups between rocky bodies shaped our solar system. Observations of a similar crash give clues about how frequent these events are around other stars.
- Moons are planets tooon November 3, 2021 at 2:33 pm
What makes a planet a planet? The answer turns out to be rather contentious. The official definition of a planet, as defined by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) is that a planet must satisfy three conditions:
- ESO images some of the biggest asteroids in our...on October 12, 2021 at 4:05 pm
The detailed images of these 42 objects are a leap forward in exploring asteroids, made possible thanks to ground-based telescopes, and contribute to answering the ultimate question of life, the Universe, and everything.
- Dwarf planet Vesta serves as a window to the...on October 6, 2021 at 7:03 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 […]
- Solar electric propulsion makes NASA's Psyche...on September 20, 2021 at 8:06 pm
When it comes time for NASA's Psyche spacecraft to power itself through deep space, it'll be more brain than brawn that does the work. Once the stuff of science fiction, the efficient and quiet power of electric propulsion will provide the force that propels the Psyche spacecraft all the way to the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The orbiter's target: A metal-rich asteroid also […]
- Mars habitability limited by its small size,...on September 20, 2021 at 7:00 pm
Water is essential for life on Earth and other planets, and scientists have found ample evidence of water in Mars' early history. But Mars has no liquid water on its surface today. New research from Washington University in St. Louis suggests a fundamental reason: Mars may be just too small to hold onto large amounts of water.
- Geologists propose theory about a famous asteroidon August 31, 2021 at 4:23 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 8:28 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...on April 23, 2021 at 12:07 pm
An international team of researchers searched for pieces of a small asteroid tracked in space and then observed to impact Botswana on June 2, 2018. Guided by SETI Institute meteor astronomer Peter Jenniskens, they found 23 meteorites deep inside the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and now have published their findings online in the journal Meteoritics and Planetary Science.
Here are links to pages about closely related subjects.
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