LOS ANGELES (AP) — Scientists are marveling at new views of the massive asteroid Vesta.
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft slipped into orbit around Vesta in July and has been beaming back images of the surface from various altitudes.
Scientists say Vesta’s diverse surface features make it more like a rocky planet than a garden-variety asteroid. They presented their findings Monday at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.
Asteroids are remnants from the birth of the solar system. They provide clues to how the solar system formed.
Dawn will spend a year studying Vesta before cruising onto an even bigger asteroid, Ceres, where it will arrive in 2015.