Vesta (Vesta) among the celestial bodies of the main asteroid belt of the solar system has been ranked by their weight and the second in size.
Ahead of her on this parameter only Pallas.
At Vesta's many mysteries, most of which scientists have not yet unraveled.
A little history
Vesta was opened back in 1807. This is done by the German astronomer Heinrich Olbers. Subsequently, his colleague and compatriot Carl Gauss suggested naming the asteroid discovered the name of the Roman goddess of the hearth of Vesta.
Features of Vesta
The diameter of this asteroid is about 500 km. Scientists came to the conclusion that he was born in the same time with the solar system, that is, it is as old as the Earth. However, the surface looks as if it was only yesterday formed.
At Vesta does not affect space weathering. Astrophysicists believe that, perhaps, this asteroid has a magnetic field, which reflects particles of the solar wind and cosmic dust. That is why its surface and looks forever young.
Generally, secrets from Vesta enough. No wonder it aroused great scientific interest. Even NASA has sent to its orbit, a special device in the hope that he will be able to reveal the secrets of the cosmic body. And he could do it.
Geological maps of the asteroid Vesta
A group of scientists have managed to create a whole series of geological maps of Vesta. The mapping helped pictures NASA spacecraft Dawn Mission. He has studied the asteroid from June 2011 to September 2012.
Vesta cards have high enough resolution toThey are clearly visible features of the surface of a celestial body in the smallest details. They were published in a special issue of the journal Icarus, in addition to it there are 11 scientific papers.
Mapping the asteroid passed within 2.5 years. On the basis of cards scientists could better see the heavenly body and confirm the hypothesis about the formation of Vesta. In this process really took part several large asteroids. As a result of collisions with them at different stages of its history Vesta "earned" a few large craters.
After examining the orbit of Vesta Spaceapparatus Dawn went to Ceres. The first "guest" of the dwarf planet it will be only in 2015. Ceres as well as the West, is a major object of the main asteroid belt. Their collision, according to astronomers, it is possible with a probability of 0.2% for a billion years. If this happens, the Earth is waiting for chaos.