Dawn Mission

Dawn is a NASA Discovery mission that targeting Vesta and Ceres, the two most massive asteroids. It entered orbit around Vesta in July 2011, then departed a year later. It will arrive at Ceres in February 2015, making it the first probe ever to orbit two astronomical bodies other than Earth.


Asteroids At the dawn of the 19th century, a group of...

Featured Images

Dawn view of the white spots on Ceres
Spotty Crater Thursday, September 10, 2015
Dawn images of north pole of Ceres
Over the Top Friday, April 17, 2015
A full rotation of Ceres as seen by the Dawn mission
Final Approach Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Dawn image of mysterious bright spots on Ceres, February 19, 2015
Bright Mysteries Thursday, February 26, 2015
Dawn image of Ceres, January 25, 2015
Getting Closer Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Artist's concept of water vapor around Ceres; HST image of Ceres
Watery Dwarf Friday, May 2, 2014
View of the asteroid Vesta from the Dawn spacecraft
Ready for Departure Thursday, August 23, 2012
Dawn's first view of Vesta after entering orbit, July 2011
Settling In Monday, July 18, 2011
Dawn spacecraft view of asteroid Vesta shortly before entering orbit
First Stop Friday, July 15, 2011

Radio Programs

More Dawn at Ceres Looking for water on an asteroid Thursday, March 5, 2015
Dawn at Ceres A spacecraft makes a second port of call Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Moon and Jupiter Closing in on two dwarf planets Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Asteroid Hunting Pointing the way to two asteroids Sunday, July 13, 2014
Moon and Ceres Peeking beneath the skin of an asteroid Saturday, September 8, 2012
Dawn III Speeding toward a new target Friday, August 24, 2012
Dawn II Piecing together the story of an asteroid Thursday, August 23, 2012
Dawn A witness to the dawn of the solar system Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Space Rocks Rocks from beyond Earth Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Dawn at Vesta III An asteroid with a difference Friday, July 15, 2011
Dawn at Vesta II A gentle ride to an asteroid Thursday, July 14, 2011
Dawn at Vesta Studying the dawn of the solar system Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Ready for Vesta Ready to map a giant asteroid Monday, May 2, 2011


©2015 The University of Texas McDonald Observatory