Title: Vesta and the Chaotic Formation of Planets
Lecturer: Dr. Guy Consolmagno S.J., Vatican Observatory
The Dawn mission was sent to Vesta to inspect, close up, an intact protoplanet from the origin of the solar system. After all, its spectra matches that of basaltic meteorites, which must have come from an early, chemically evolved protoplanet. Except... Vesta's overall density is too low, and its core and crust too big, to fit anything like what we expect an intact protoplanet to look like. Was Vesta ripped apart and re-assembled? Is Vesta giving us new clues to planet formation and evolution in a violent early solar system?