Dawn spacecraft beams back new images of asteroid (AP)

This combination of three separate photos provided by NASA and released Wednesday Dec. 21, 2 011 shows a region of the asteroid Vesta taken from different altitudes. The images were snapped by the Dawn spacecraft, which entered orbit around Vesta in July 2011 on a mission to better understand the origins of the solar system. (AP Photo/NASA/ JPL)AP - NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has been a fervent photographer, snapping more than 10,000 pictures of the asteroid Vesta since it slipped into orbit around the giant space rock last summer.

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