NASA's Dawn spacecraft, the first ever to orbit an object in the main asteroid belt, is spiraling towards its first of four intensive science orbits.
NASA's Dawn mission, in orbit around Vesta, captures a new image from a distance of 3,200 miles (5,200) kilometers from the giant asteroid.
NASA's Dawn mission, in orbit around Vesta, captured the latest image from a distance of about 6,500 miles (10,500 kilometers) kilometers from the giant asteroid.
On July 15, NASA's Dawn spacecraft will begin a prolonged encounter with the asteroid Vesta, making the mission the first to enter orbit around a main-belt asteroid.
Often, comets are portrayed as harbingers of gloom and doom in movies and on television, but most pose no threat to Earth. Comet Elenin, the latest comet to visit our inner solar system, is no exception.
NASA spacecraft have already flown past comets and asteroids, and now Earth itself will "fly by" an object that will provide NASA scientists a unique observing opportunity.
On Dec. 11, 2010,asteroid Scheila flared twice as bright as expected. Hubble and Swift captured the aftermath of this deep space collision.