Vesta and the Chaotic Formation of Planets

Thurs 26 Apr, 2018 @12:00 PM, level 7
Brother Guy Consolmagno, Director of the Vatican Observatory
Vatican Observatory

Email:  director[at]


NASA’s Dawn mission was sent to asteroid 4 Vesta to inspect, close up, “an intact protoplanet from the origin of the solar system”. But the Dawn data have revealed that Vesta’s overall density is too low, and its core and crust too big, to resemble anything like an intact protoplanet. Was Vesta ripped apart and re-assembled? It looks like Vesta is giving us new clues to planet formation and evolution in a violent early solar system.