NASA reports that its Dawn spacecraft has sent back the first photo since it entered into orbit on Friday around the giant asteroid Vesta. The asteroid lies between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter - 117 million miles from Earth. It took Dawn almost four years to reach Vesta and will spend about a year studying the asteroid which is thought to be the source of many meteors which have struck Earth. Then, it will complete its mission by traveling to the dwarf planet Ceres.
NASA scientists will spend about three weeks getting the Dawn spacecraft accustomed to its new surroundings around Vesta before beginning its study of the giant asteroid in earnest.
Here's the first photo of Vesta returned by Dawn after it reached orbit.
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com