The Dawn mission was launched on 27 September 2007. The objective of the mission is the most thorough investigation of the asteroids Vesta and the dwarf planet Ceres. With Dawn, researchers expect to find out what happened during the first few millions of years after the planets were formed.
Varied impact craters, valleys, canyons and mountains among the highest in the Solar System are revealed on the first images of the asteroid Vesta.
White patches on the dwarf planet Ceres have fascinated scientists since their discovery. Now, the Dawn orbiter has transmitted new images looking vertically down on to the dwarf planet's north pole, showing two unusual patches clearly distinct from their darker surroundings.