The asteroid Vesta was identified as one of the biggest asteroids at the cosmic wall floating between Jupiter and Mars, called the asteroid belt. The discovery of the massive asteroid poses new baffling questions to the astronomy experts, and these questions may not be resolved sooner than we expect.
Asteroid Vesta's Baffling Surface Features
NASA already met the gigantic asteroid in their previous missions. Back in 2011 and 2012, Vesta was visited and examined by the space agency through the help of a spacecraft named Dawn. The initial examination of Dawn includes identifying the physical structures of Vesta.
Among the details gathered from the asteroid are the exceptional troughs of Vesta scattered throughout its entire surface. The biggest troughs identified were the Divalia Fossae, occupying more than 50% of the surface in the middle of the cosmic rock, and the Saturnalia Fossae, dented in the northern area.
The Divalia and Saturnalia Fossae are puzzling to the experts, as there are limited data to show how the two biggest troughs existed and which materials are responsible for denting the massive asteroid. Experts' best bet is that the troughs resulted from a strong cataclysmic collision between Vesta and one of the large objects in our solar system.
University of Georgia geology expert and co-author of the study Christian Klimczak said in a Space report that Vesta was apparently on is its transition to becoming a planet comparable to Earth.
However, the planetary formation was disrupted sometime in the early age of the solar system. The expert said that the research revolving around Vesta could help us understand better what really happened during the asteroid's early years and learn more about the details of our planet's origin.
Dawn Spacecraft Discovered Most Unsolvable Puzzle in Solar System
Dawn's discovery of the trough couple on the body of Vesta led the scientists to theorize whether the other basins on its surface, known as the Rheasilvia and Veneneia, have a connection to the origin of the asteroid.
To analyze the puzzling features of the asteroid, the experts selected a standard approach called crater counting. The method will help determine and consolidate the categories of the crater impacts of Vesta, ranging from the oldest to the youngest, as well as the right sequence of the series of impacts inflicted on the surface.
The exact date cannot be precisely determined by the crater counting approach. However, it can arrange the consecutive impacts in order from the old to new craters.
Crater counting, the best medium to analyze the asteroid, did not provide comprehensive information on the interval between the craters, as they were found to have existed altogether due to their similar age. Although having the same age, the mapping of Vest's craters were not correlated to each other.
Further research will be conducted regarding the seemingly unsolvable case of the asteroid Vesta and the connection of its trough and stark features. The research was published in the journal Icarus, titled "Age Relationships of Large-scale Troughs and Impact Basins on Vesta."
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