In Korea for a bit, better-than-Hubble Ceres resolution very soon

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Apologies for not writing for quite some time but I'm in Seoul at the moment where I've been for a week. Sometimes in life you just have to rush off and cross the Pacific to watch a musical. Any guesses which one it is?

In the meantime Dawn has obtained the better-than-Hubble images of Ceres and will be releasing them probably tomorrow. As for what's coming up next we have the following:

Feb 4, 2015 | OpNav #3 | 148,000 km | 68 pixels | 2.2x Hubble resolution
Feb 12, 2015 | Rotation Characterization #1 | 84,000 km | 116 pixels | 3.7x Hubble resolution
Feb 20, 2015 | Rotation Characterization #2 | 48,000 km | 226 pixels | 7x Hubble resolution
Feb 23, 2015 | Closest Approach | | Begin high-phase Approach
Feb 25, 2015 | OpNav #4 | 39,000 km | 264 pixels | 8x Hubble resolution
Mar 2, 2015 | OpNav #5 | 50,000 km | 205 pixels | 6.5x Hubble resolution
Mar 6, 2015 | Capture| | Capture into orbit
Apr 10, 2015 | OpNav #6 | 33,000 km | 300 pixels | 9.5x Hubble resolution
Apr 15, 2015 | OpNav #7 | 21,000 km | 470 pixels | 15x Hubble resolution
Apr 23, 2015 | Rotation Characterization #3 | 13,000 km | 20x Hubble resolution

The reason for returning to 6.5x Hubble resolution is the odd but brilliant maneuver Dawn is undergoing to reach orbit at the same time as planned before in spite of losing a reaction wheel. It involves flying a bit past Ceres, then letting itself get captured, then swinging back in a long elliptical orbit that it will then change into a more proper one for surveying and mapping.

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