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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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ScienceShot: Asteroid Vesta Emerges
14 July 2011 1:49 pm
With NASA's release today of the latest image from the approaching Dawn spacecraft, asteroid Vesta is no longer a fuzzy, nearly featureless ball; it's a surprisingly youthful world, geologically speaking, sporting still-mysterious features. Although Dawn will go into close orbit around 529-kilometer-diameter Vesta this weekend, the newly-released image of the asteroid—taken 9 July from a distance of 41,000 kilometers—already reveals never-before-seen detail that has planetary scientists scratching their heads. Hubble Space Telescope had already revealed the peak or mound in the left-center; it marks the heart of an enormous impact crater spanning 460 kilometers (apparently hard to see from this perspective). But there are also roughly parallel ridges, grooves, or who knows what that swirl across the lower part of the image. And then there is what's missing: innumerable smaller impact craters accumulated over the eons. Dawn's year-long visit could show whether the humongous impact obliterated them as it wiped Vesta's geological slate clean.
See more ScienceShots.