To follow up on yesterday's blog on Mercurian Meteorites, I thought I would provide some information on how meteorites from Vesta, the second largest asteroid and the object of the Dawn mission until this July, got to Earth.
Dawn has given us the ability to try and pinpoint the origin point of Vesta meteorites (I own a few Vesta samples myself) through the close up photographs and scientific data that has been acquired since last summer.
The prime suspect is a 13 MILE high mountain, that is 2 1/2 times taller than Mt. Everest by the way, located at the south polar region of Vesta. This huge feature is thought to be the result of a great impact event that hurled impact ejecta to form the mountain and launch debris into space.
Mission scientists want to get an age for the mountain as well as its chemical composition and then compare this to meteorites thought to be from Vesta. Dawn gives us the best opportunity we have to prove this match up and then use the meteorites to learn more about Vesta. Vesta Meteorites are a free sample return "mission" that provide valuable and otherwise unobtainable data sources.
Read More About It: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2011/30dec_spacemountain/
Sky Guy in VA