The Dawn spacecraft continues to close in on Vesta, one of the last unexplored objects of appreciable size between here and Pluto. Dawn is expected to go into orbit around the asteroid on July 16.
This is how Vesta looked in the navigation camera view as of June 20, when Dawn was 117,000 miles away. And here’s a time-lapse view of the approach so far.
Read more about the Dawn mission in our June/July issue, or listen to this recent talk by project co-investigator Carle Pieters (below), who describes what scientists hope to learn at Vesta.