After Hours

Gallery: Dawn spacecraft nears giant asteroid

NASA expects that its Dawn spacecraft will enter orbit on July 15 around the asteroid Vesta which lies between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Dawn will study the giant asteroid for about a year from a distance expected to be around 9,900 miles before it moves on to the dwarf planet Ceres.

Here is a recent photo from Dawn, taken on July 9 from about 26,000 miles. Each pixel represents about 2.4 miles.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA