Episode 439: Vesta Shaped by Violent Collisions

In 2011 and 2012, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft orbited the second-largest asteroid in our solar system, Vesta, providing unprecedented views of its surface. Computer simulations based on Dawn’s observations suggest that violent collisions with two other space rocks carved out two giant craters on the asteroid and melted Vesta’s crust, making it thicker than expected.

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