Vesta Fiesta

Event Details

Date(s) & Time(s)::

August 6, 2011 at 8:30 PM until 10:30 PM

Location: Sugar Grove Nature Center

Phone: 309-824-2804



Event Description

July 18, 2011 Updated Jul 18, 2011 at 8:59 AM CDT


Normal, IL – The Twin City Amateur Astronomers (TCAA) will host a Vesta Fiesta at 8:30pm on August 6, 2011 to celebrate the beginning of the NASA Dawn mission’s year-long visit to the large asteroid Vesta. Dawn is the second scientific mission to be powered by an advanced NASA technology known as ion propulsion and is the first NASA mission to orbit two major objects.

Our Vesta Fiesta will feature a presentation about the Dawn mission, a laser guided sky tour and observing Vesta and a variety of other celestial objects through telescopes. The event will be held at the Sugar Grove Nature Center. Please join us for a fun filled educational experience.

The asteroid Vesta orbits the sun every 3.6 earth years, has an oval, pumpkin-like shape, and an average diameter of approximately 330 miles. Dawn's visit to Vesta will be the first prolonged encounter with a main belt asteroid. Observations will help us understand the earliest chapter of our Solar System's history.

The study of Vesta is only half of Dawn's mission. The spacecraft will also conduct a detailed study of the structure and composition of another asteroid Ceres - which, because it is larger and rounder also meets the requirements to be a "dwarf planet.” Vesta and Ceres are two of the most massive objects in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Dawn's goals include determining the shape, size, composition, and internal structure, of both objects, and the mission is expected to reveal the conditions under which each of them formed.

For more information about the TCAA, visit
For more information about the Dawn Mission, visit

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.