Dawn; the Vesta-HED connection; and the geologic context for eucrites, diogenites, and howardites

Harry Y. McSween, Richard P. Binzel, M. Cristina De Sanctis, Eleonora Ammannito, Thomas H. Prettyman, Andrew W. Beck, Vishnu Reddy, Lucille Le Corre, Michael J. Gaffey, Thomas B. Mccord, Carol A. Raymond, Christopher T. Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

172 Scopus citations


The Dawn mission has provided new evidence strengthening the identification of asteroid Vesta as the parent body of the howardite, eucrite, and diogenite (HED) meteorites. The evidence includes Vesta's petrologic complexity, detailed spectroscopic characteristics, unique space weathering, diagnostic geochemical abundances and neutron absorption characteristics, chronology of surface units and impact history, occurrence of exogenous carbonaceous chondritic materials in the regolith, and dimensions of the core, all of which are consistent with HED observations and constraints. Global mapping of the distributions of HED lithologies by Dawn cameras and spectrometers provides the missing geologic context for these meteorites, thereby allowing tests of petrogenetic models and increasing their scientific value.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2090-2104
Number of pages15
JournalMeteoritics and Planetary Science
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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