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MSRAL 2006 Convention

SLAS Regular Meeting
Friday, March 20, 2015 7:30pm
McDonnell Hall, Washington University

An Asteroid Tour:
NASA's Dawn Spacecraft Mission


Richard Heuermann
Washington University

Just this month, NASA's Dawn spacecraft slipped into orbit around the largest
asteroid, Ceres. Dawn had, after a four year journey from Earth, visited the asteroid Vesta for fifteen months before moving on to Ceres. Asteroids are small bodies of rock and metal, ranging in size from a few feet across to 590 miles
across. Millions of them orbit the Sun, mostly between Mars and Jupiter. But
some come much closer. To date, almost 5800 asteroids are known to have orbits that cross Earth's orbit. Mr. Heuermann will present some of the early results from Dawn's exploration of Vesta and show some images of its approach to Ceres. He will also talk about the origin and nature of asteroids, what they might reveal about the early history of the solar system, and about some of the opportunities and dangers of close encounters with Earth.

Rich Heuermann is the outreach program coordinator for the NASA Missouri
Space Grant Consortium at Washington University. He is also a member of the
Saint Louis Astronomical Society.

Future meetings:
April - Dr. Joseph Marcus M.D. Comet 67P
And the Rosetta Spacecraft"
May - Kathrin Powell "All the Mars Rovers
and Discoveries"


Meeting Agenda


Introduction of Officers and Visitors

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