NASA’s Dawn Spacecraft Is Approaching Asteroid Vesta

Schoolchildren by the thousands wept when Pluto was officially banished from the ranks of the major planets back in 2006, but for the asteroids, demotion to the interplanetary minor leagues is very old news. When Ceres was discovered in 1801 during a search of the mysteriously empty space between Mars and Jupiter, astronomers were convinced they’d found a new planet.