Dawn at Vesta: Testing the Protoplanetary Paradigm

@article{Russell2012DawnAV,
  title={Dawn at Vesta: Testing the Protoplanetary Paradigm},
  author={Christopher T. Russell and Carol A. Raymond and Angioletta Coradini and Harry Y. McSween and Maria T. Zuber and Andreas Nathues and Maria Cristina De Sanctis and Ralf Jaumann and Alex S. Konopliv and Frank Preusker and Sami W. Asmar and Ryan S. Park and R. W. Gaskell and H. Uwe Keller and Stefano Mottola and Thomas Roatsch and Jennifer E. C. Scully and D. E. Smith and Pasquale Tricarico and M. J. Toplis and Ulrich R. Christensen and William Charles Feldman and David J. Lawrence and Timothy J. Mccoy and Thomas H. Prettyman and R. C. Reedy and M. Sykes and Timothy N. Titus},
  journal={Science},
  year={2012},
  volume={336},
  pages={684 - 686}
}
A New Dawn Since 17 July 2011, NASA's spacecraft Dawn has been orbiting the asteroid Vesta—the second most massive and the third largest asteroid in the solar system (see the cover). Russell et al. (p. 684) use Dawn's observations to confirm that Vesta is a small differentiated planetary body with an inner core, and represents a surviving proto-planet from the earliest epoch of solar system formation; Vesta is also confirmed as the source of the howardite-eucrite-diogenite (HED) meteorites… 

The Violent Collisional History of Asteroid 4 Vesta

Dawn observations confirm that Vesta is a small differentiated planetary body with an inner core, and represents a surviving proto-planet from the earliest epoch of solar system formation, and presents the mineralogical characterization of Vesta, revealing that this asteroid underwent a complex magmatic evolution that led to a differentiated crust and mantle.

Vesta’s Shape and Morphology

Dawn observations confirm the large impact basin at Vesta's south pole and reveal evidence for an earlier, underlying large basin (Veneneia), underscoring Vesta’s unique role as a transitional solar system body.

The Geologically Recent Giant Impact Basins at Vesta’s South Pole

Dawn’s global mapping of Vesta reveals that its observed south polar depression is composed of two overlapping giant impact features, which provide exceptional windows into impact processes at planetary scales, and spacecraft data provide a detailed characterization of the second most massive asteroid in the solar system.

Spectroscopic Characterization of Mineralogy and Its Diversity Across Vesta

The mineralogy of Vesta, based on data obtained by the Dawn spacecraft’s visible and infrared spectrometer, is consistent with howardite-eucrite-diogenite meteorites, which suggests a complex magmatic evolution that led to a differentiated crust and mantle.

An Ancient Core Dynamo in Asteroid Vesta

It is shown that remanent magnetization in the eucrite meteorite Allan Hills A81001 formed during cooling on Vesta 3.69 billion years ago in a surface magnetic field of at least 2 microteslas, suggesting that Vesta formed an advecting liquid metallic core.

Dawn completes its mission at 4 Vesta

The Dawn mission was designed to test our hypothesis about the origin and evolution of the early solar system by visiting the largest differentiated basaltic asteroid, 4 Vesta, believed to be a

Elemental Mapping by Dawn Reveals Exogenic H in Vesta’s Regolith

Analysis of data from the Dawn spacecraft implies that asteroid Vesta is rich in volatiles, and models of Vesta’s evolution based on studies of howardite, eucrite, and diogenite meteorites are tested, finding that global Fe/O and Fe/Si ratios are consistent with HED compositions.

Small crater populations on Vesta

The structure of the asteroid 4 Vesta as revealed by models of planet-scale collisions

Three-dimensional simulations of Vesta’s global evolution under two overlapping planet-scale collisions closely reproduce its observed shape, and provide maps of impact excavation and ejecta deposition.
...

References

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The Violent Collisional History of Asteroid 4 Vesta

Dawn observations confirm that Vesta is a small differentiated planetary body with an inner core, and represents a surviving proto-planet from the earliest epoch of solar system formation, and presents the mineralogical characterization of Vesta, revealing that this asteroid underwent a complex magmatic evolution that led to a differentiated crust and mantle.

Color and Albedo Heterogeneity of Vesta from Dawn

Dawn's observations confirm that Vesta is a small differentiated planetary body with an inner core, and represents a surviving proto-planet from the earliest epoch of solar system formation, and reveal its color and photometric diversity are indicative of its status as a preserved, differentiated protoplanet.

Vesta’s Shape and Morphology

Dawn observations confirm the large impact basin at Vesta's south pole and reveal evidence for an earlier, underlying large basin (Veneneia), underscoring Vesta’s unique role as a transitional solar system body.

The Geologically Recent Giant Impact Basins at Vesta’s South Pole

Dawn’s global mapping of Vesta reveals that its observed south polar depression is composed of two overlapping giant impact features, which provide exceptional windows into impact processes at planetary scales, and spacecraft data provide a detailed characterization of the second most massive asteroid in the solar system.

Spectroscopic Characterization of Mineralogy and Its Diversity Across Vesta

The mineralogy of Vesta, based on data obtained by the Dawn spacecraft’s visible and infrared spectrometer, is consistent with howardite-eucrite-diogenite meteorites, which suggests a complex magmatic evolution that led to a differentiated crust and mantle.

Origin, Internal Structure and Evolution of 4 Vesta

Asteroid 4 Vesta is the only preserved intact example of a large, differentiated protoplanet like those believed to be the building blocks of terrestrial planet accretion. Vesta accreted rapidly from

Chips off of Asteroid 4 Vesta: Evidence for the Parent Body of Basaltic Achondrite Meteorites

The sizes, ejection velocities of 500 meters per second, and proximity of these fragments to the 3:1 resonance establish Vesta as a dynamically viable source for eucrite, diogenite, and howardite meteorites.

HED Meteorites and Their Relationship to the Geology of Vesta and the Dawn Mission

Howardite-eucrite-diogenite (HED) meteorites, thought to be derived from 4 Vesta, provide the best sampling available for any differentiated asteroid. However, deviations in oxygen isotopic

Vesta and Ceres: Crossing the History of the Solar System

The evolution of the Solar System can be schematically divided into three different phases: the Solar Nebula, the Primordial Solar System and the Modern Solar System. These three periods were

The Dawn Gravity Investigation at Vesta and Ceres

The objective of the Dawn gravity investigation is to use high precision X-band Doppler tracking and landmark tracking from optical images to measure the gravity fields of Vesta and Ceres to a