Researchers hope to learn more about one of the oldest known objects in the Solar System in the coming weeks following the descent of NASA’s Dawn spacecraft closer to the surface of the proto-planet Vesta. The survey craft arrived at Vesta, one of the two largest bodies in the asteroid belt, in July. After observing Vesta from an initial 1,700-mi. orbit, Dawn began a spiraling descent in August and stabilized in a 420-mi.-high mapping orbit at the end of last week, almost exactly four ...


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