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July 11, 2016 - Vesta’s Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat

Vesta’s Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat  This may look like a rainbow-hued asteroid, but these brilliant colors were assigned to highlight subtle differences in Vesta’s surface composition. Material thrown out from impact craters—seen in red—is different from the surrounding material; likewise, green reveals an abundance of iron. Vesta is the second-most massive object in the asteroid belt and is the source of a large number of meteorites that have fallen to Earth. NASA’s Dawn spacecraft was launched in 2007 and entered orbit around Vesta five years ago this week. After spending a year orbiting Vesta, Dawn reignited its novel ion engine and departed for the dwarf planet Ceres, arriving in March 2015. It is the first spacecraft to successfully enter orbit around two different target worlds in our solar system.

Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / UCLA / MPS / DLR / IDA / PSI

Weekly Calendar

July 11-17, 2016

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Moon phase Monday 11

First Qtr Moon 8:52 PM ET

1962: NASA selects lunar orbit rendezvous method for lunar landings
1969: X-24A lifting body rolled out for first time
1979: Skylab reenters atmosphere

Moon phase Tuesday 12

1966: First glide test of M2-F2 lifting body
2000: Zvezda Service Module launched to ISS
2001: STS-104 Atlantis launched

Moon phase Wednesday 13

Moon at apogee

1995: STS-70 Discovery launched

Moon phase Thursday 14

Mars 8° south of Moon

1965: Mariner 4 completes first successful flyby of Mars
1967: Surveyor 4 launched
2015: New Horizons makes first ever Pluto flyby

Moon phase Friday 15

1943: Jocelyn Bell Burnell born
Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (Apollo 18) launched, last Apollo mission
2004: Aura satellite launched
2009: STS-127 Endeavour launched
2012: Soyuz TMA-05M launched carrying ISS Expedition 32/33 crew

Moon phase Saturday 16

Saturn 3° south of Moon
Mercury 0.5° north of Venus

1969: Apollo 11 launched
1994: First fragment of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 impacts Jupiter
2011: Dawn spacecraft enters orbit around Vesta

Moon phase Sunday 17

1850: John Adams Whipple takes first stellar photograph (Vega)
1970: Final HL-10 lifting body flight
1975: Apollo-Soyuz dock in orbit
1984: Soyuz T-12 launched, 100th human space flight

Suggestions for new history dates or better links? Corrections for errors on this page? Please e-mail me.