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Dawn Approaches Vesta

We mentioned in our blog entry “What Happened to Pluto” the status of the asteroid Vesta is up in the air: Is it just another asteroid or does it qualify as a dwarf planet? A dwarf planet has to be massive enough to be a sphere (like Ceres & Pluto) and Vesta certainly isn’t a sphere. But this lack of sphere shape might be due to impacts cause while Vista was still molten. If that is the case then it may still be considered a dwarf planet (impacts that effect shape apparently do not count). NASA launched the Dawn probe to check this out and while it will not be close enough for close examination until July, it is getting there. In fact, yesterday they released a video of Vesta taken from Dawn. Take a look…

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