Vestian Type

Vestian Planetoids are a relatively rare type of body, but fascinating in that these small bodies show evidence of geological processes similar to the larger Terrestrial worlds.  Basaltic lava flows, ancient and long since hardened, cover the surface, and the body's morphology is differentiated between a silicate and basaltic crust, a mantle of olivine, and a dense crust of heavier, metallic materials.

The origins of these bodies are somewhat mysterious.  It is possible that their cores are rich in radioactive isotopes, such as aluminum-26, which were produced by a nearby supernova that triggered the solar system's formation to begin with.

Regardless of how these bodies formed, the Planetoids themselves have remained largely unchanged since the beginnings of the solar system, save for meteoric impacts.


Vestian bodies can provide insights into the history of a solar system, its formative processes, and even hints at the environment of the pre-solar nebula.

Quick Facts

Vestians of Note:  In the Sol System, the asteroid Vesta is the prototype for this type of Planetoid.  One of the only such bodies in the System, it was struck by a large body some 50 million years ago, laying bare its subsurface as deep as the mantle, providing an unimpeded and unprecedented view into the depths of a planetary body.

 

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ArcBuilder Universe concept John M. and Margo L. Dollan 2002-2004
This Page first uploaded May 1, 2004
Most recent update for this page May 2, 2004