Friday, May 11, 2012

Vesta Is A Baby Planet, Not An Asteroid

Artist's concept shows NASA's Dawn spacecraft orbiting the giant asteroid Vesta (Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Vesta A Baby Planet, Not An Asteroid -- ABC News (Australia)

Vesta, the second largest object in the main asteroid belt, has an iron core, a varied surface, layers of rock and possibly a magnetic field - all signs of a planet in the making, not an asteroid.

So concludes an international team of scientists treated to a virtual front row seat at Vesta for the past 10 months, courtesy of NASA's Dawn robotic probe.

They have a bit more ground to cover before Dawn leaves Vesta's cratered, lava-like surface in late August to rendezvous with the king of the asteroid belt, Ceres, another type of proto-planet believed to be flush with water ice.

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My Comment: Looks like a planet to me.

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