Physics Colloquium: Thomas B. McCord, Bear Fight Institute, Winthrop, WA
Monday, September 26 2011 at 4:00 PM
Location: EP 209
TITLE: "The Dawn Deep Space Mission Explores Vesta: Early Results and Expectations"
ABSTRACT: The Dawn Mission spacecraft to Vesta and Ceres, dwarf planets located in the asteroid belt, reached Vesta early this summer and began orbiting in late July. It is currently maneuvering from its higher survey orbit down to a high mapping orbit. Multispectral images and IR spectra have been returned so far that give the first indications of the geologic and compositional conditions and hints of Vesta's past evolution. Previously, we had only telescopic observations from Earth with little spatial resolution. The talk will describe the Dawn spacecraft, its payload, and the mission and present some initial data and early findings.