Dawn probe found strange gullies on the asteroid Vesta

07.12.2012

 

On the asteroid Vesta revealed the mysterious winding ravines — the narrow channel cut some craters, very similar to the traces of water flows, results of analyzing images of the asteroid probe made by American Dawn, the press service of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

"Direct depression that we see on the West Side — is a textbook example of the following work flow of dry material, such as sand. We met them on the moon and expect to find in the West. But these sinuous gullies — it's something unusual, we do not expect to find them, and are still trying to understand their nature, "- says Jennifer Scully (Jennifer Scully) from the University of California at Los Angeles, who led a group of deciphering images.

The pictures from the Dawn were found two types of narrow channels cut through the wall of young craters on Vesta — some like straight gutter, and other more sinuous and end alluvial fans of the breed.

"On Earth, similar education, such as Meteor Crater in Arizona, creates a flow of liquid water. On Mars, the question of the mechanisms responsible for these gullies is still debatable. We need to carefully analyze the data on these ravines on the West Side, before definitely talk about their origin, "- said the project supervisor Dawn Russell Christopher (Christopher Russell).

Scientists are now offering different hypotheses of a Martian gullies. Some people believe that they have in place water flows, others believe that it traces of carbon dioxide, the Martian "dry ice." One study in 2010 showed that the carbon dioxide frost could give rise to streams of sand on the red planet.

Dawn probe was launched on September 27, 2007, and July 18, 2011 for the first time in history went into orbit around the asteroid Vesta. This is the first spacecraft, which studied the orbit with one heavenly body — Vesta, descended from it and continued on his way to another — to the dwarf planet Ceres.

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