Dawn banner that says Dawn: A Journey to the Beginning of the Solar System with Vesta, the Dawn spacecraft, and Ceres. NASA logo in the upper right

Dawn Mission Outreach E-Bulletin                              38th Edition      March 2012

HIGH SCHOOL SCIENCE TEACHERS: WE NEED YOU!

Framing camera images of VestaLaunching: Dawn's Newest Curriculum Content Module

Are you interested in an opportunity for your class to be on the cutting edge of NASA space science? How about participating in a Dawn pilot study? Dawn Education and Public Outreach (E/PO) has developed a module of activities unpacking the concepts as to how Dawn's instruments gather and analyze data: Interactions of Energy and Matter: Dawn Instrumentation. Ideal for high school physics, chemistry and integrated science classes, we are piloting the materials during the spring and fall of 2012. 

 

✓ Preview the Module.
✓ Visit the pilot study web page for more details and to sign up.  

✓ Questions or more information? Please contact Sharon Unkart at sunkart@mcrel.org.

EXTRA, EXTRA!

DAWN SEES NEW FEATURES ON GIANT ASTEROID VESTA

Bright material on Vesta's Canuleia craterMarch 21, 2012
Pasadena, California

 

NASA's Dawn spacecraft has revealed unexpected details on the surface of the giant asteroid Vesta. New images and data highlight the diversity of Vesta's surface and reveal unusual geologic features, some of which were never previously seen on asteroids.

  

✓ Read the JPL Press Release.

UPS AND DAWNS

From Dawn's Chief Engineer, Dr. Marc Rayman:
Dr. Marc RaymanFebruary 29, 2012
Dawn is continuing its exploits at Vesta, performing detailed studies of the colossal asteroid from its low altitude mapping orbit (LAMO).


Although we usually describe LAMO as being at an altitude of 210 kilometers (130 miles), it is an average altitude, not a constant altitude. There are two reasons the spacecraft's height changes. One is that the elevation of the surface changes, and the other is that the orbit itself is not exactly in a circle. Because the ancient surface has been battered over billions of years in the rough and tumble of the asteroid belt, the surface displays remarkable variations in shape. So, even if the space craft flew in a perfect circle around Vesta, its altitude would vary according to the topography.


The robotic ambassador is operating extremely well on behalf of the creatures it represents on a distant planet. 

✓ Read February's complete Dawn Journal

✓ For more mission concepts revealed, check out the Dawn Journal archives.  

✓ Where is Dawn now?

FOLLOW DAWN!

Get on-the-minute mission and science updates during this exciting year as Dawn zips along in its trajectory to Vesta in the main asteroid belt! Follow the Dawn Mission on Facebook, Twitter, and our RSS Feed.

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Dawn Mission Outreach E-News features information about the mission, its outreach website, and products, services, and materials available from the Dawn Education and Public Outreach (E/PO) team. Dawn is the ninth Discovery mission in NASA's Science Mission Directorate and is a collaborative partnership made up of the University of California, Los Angeles; Jet Propulsion Laboratory; Orbital Sciences Corporation; Los Alamos National Laboratory; German Aerospace Center; Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research; Italian Space Agency; and Italian National Institute of Astrophysics. Dawn outreach materials are developed under contract by Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL), Denver, CO.