NASA Unveils New Asteroid Images - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

NASA Unveils New Asteroid Images

LOS ANGELES - NASA's Dawn spacecraft has been a fervent photographer, snapping more than 10,000 pictures of the asteroid Vesta since it slipped into orbit around the giant space rock last summer.

The views were taken from a distance away – until now. On Wednesday, the space agency released new images of the hummocky surface as Dawn circled from an average altitude of 130 miles above the surface – the closest it'll get.

From this low orbit, scientists can count numerous small impact craters and see textured grooves and outcrops in sharp detail.

"We're totally thrilled with the data we're getting. It seems to get better," said mission deputy principal investigator Carol Raymond of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which manages the $466 million mission.

By inching this close to Vesta, Dawn will use other instruments to measure the gravity field and determine its chemical makeup to better understand its origins.

Dawn will spend the next 2 1/2 months at the current altitude before moving higher to take another round of pictures. By that time, the sun will hit Vesta at a different angle and illuminate sections of the northern hemisphere that had been shrouded earlier.

About the length of Arizona with a huge crater at its south pole, Vesta is the second largest body residing in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Asteroids are leftovers from the solar system's birth some 4.5 billion years ago and studying these bodies could offer clues about how rocky planets like Earth formed.

Previous spacecraft have visited smaller asteroids before, but this is the first trip to Vesta.

Powered by ion propulsion, Dawn began orbiting Vesta in July after a 1.7 billion-mile cruise. It will depart Vesta next summer and will fly to an even bigger asteroid, Ceres, where it will arrive in 2015. click here to look at the photos

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Puyallup woman pleads guilty to defrauding $290K from Costco

    Puyallup woman pleads guilty to defrauding $290K from Costco

    Thursday, June 21 2018 12:56 AM EDT2018-06-21 04:56:03 GMT
    Puyallup woman pleads guilty to defrauding $290K from CostcoPuyallup woman pleads guilty to defrauding $290K from Costco
    Federal officials say further testing was unable to confirm the presence of E. coli in the onions and celery used to make chicken salad at Costco warehouses across the country.Federal officials say further testing was unable to confirm the presence of E. coli in the onions and celery used to make chicken salad at Costco warehouses across the country.

    TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - A Washington state woman has pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $290,000 from a Costco warehouse over five years. The News Tribune reports 54-year-old Robin Cline pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court in Tacoma to charges of wire fraud.  Cline of Puyallup worked at Costco in Fife from 1996 to 2016 as an accounts receivable clerk. She was responsible for processing payments and refunds for customers of the warehouse club operator. Accordi...

    >>

    TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - A Washington state woman has pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $290,000 from a Costco warehouse over five years. The News Tribune reports 54-year-old Robin Cline pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court in Tacoma to charges of wire fraud.  Cline of Puyallup worked at Costco in Fife from 1996 to 2016 as an accounts receivable clerk. She was responsible for processing payments and refunds for customers of the warehouse club operator. Accordi...

    >>
  • Spokane man sentenced to 21 years for production of child pornography

    Spokane man sentenced to 21 years for production of child pornography

    Wednesday, June 20 2018 11:31 PM EDT2018-06-21 03:31:54 GMT
    Spokane man sentenced to 21 years for production of child pornographySpokane man sentenced to 21 years for production of child pornography
    2 minors charged for brutal beating of Idaho 15-year-old boy2 minors charged for brutal beating of Idaho 15-year-old boy

    SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - 22-year-old Freedom Woody of Spokane was sentenced Wednesday after having pleaded guilty to production of child pornography. According to information disclosed during court proceedings, investigators found Woody and a 13-year old girl from Oregon in a homeless camp near the Spokane River after the girl’s grandmother reported her missing. When interviewed by officers, Woody admitted having sex with her.

    >>

    SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - 22-year-old Freedom Woody of Spokane was sentenced Wednesday after having pleaded guilty to production of child pornography. According to information disclosed during court proceedings, investigators found Woody and a 13-year old girl from Oregon in a homeless camp near the Spokane River after the girl’s grandmother reported her missing. When interviewed by officers, Woody admitted having sex with her.

    >>
  • You’re Not Alone: Death of 13-year-old girl shocks Moses Lake community

    You’re Not Alone: Death of 13-year-old girl shocks Moses Lake community

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 9:43 PM EDT2018-06-20 01:43:35 GMT

    MOSES LAKE, Wash. - Blue balloons soared into the open skies of Moses Lake Tuesday afternoon; each one was inked with a message to Valerie Bashaw, the 13-year-old girl who recently took her own life. “We know she’s not physically here but in our hearts and minds and souls,” said one of Bashaw’s ballet instructors, Rian Miles. 

    >>

    MOSES LAKE, Wash. - Blue balloons soared into the open skies of Moses Lake Tuesday afternoon; each one was inked with a message to Valerie Bashaw, the 13-year-old girl who recently took her own life. “We know she’s not physically here but in our hearts and minds and souls,” said one of Bashaw’s ballet instructors, Rian Miles. 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/