News & AnalysisFALL MEETING OF THE AMERICAN GEOPHYSICAL UNION

A Vesta Core and a Magnetic Field, Too?

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Science  23 Dec 2011:
Vol. 334, Issue 6063, pp. 1616-1617
DOI: 10.1126/science.334.6063.1616-b

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Summary

Dawn spacecraft scientists probing Vesta's interior for the first time reported at the meeting that they had detected a metallic core to the rocky asteroid. And just as they were making the announcement, researchers speaking in an unrelated session reported hints of a magnetic field generated in the same core in Vesta's earliest days, as Earth does today. Follow-up by Dawn, however, will be impossible.