A new video from a NASA spacecraft shows the huge asteroid Vesta's complex surface in dazzling and colorful detail.
The video drapes high-resolution false color images snapped by NASA's Dawn probe over a 3-D model of Vesta constructed from the spacecraft's observations. Dawn has been orbiting Vesta — at 330 miles wide the second-largest object in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter — since last July.
During its time at Vesta, Dawn has confirmed that the enormous space rock is actually an ancient protoplanet — a planetary building block left over from the solar system's earliest days. If Vesta had formed nearer to the sun instead of out in the asteroid belt near Jupiter, it may have been incorporated into a rocky planet like Earth or Venus.
To read more about this story at MSNBC, CLICK HERE.