This kit contains genuine regolith from the asteroid 4 Vesta. This parent body is home to the HED class of meteorites and it represents a "failed planet" that currently orbits in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. This display kit has a Hubble photo print of the asteroid surface and a capsule of asteroid regolith in a handsome Riker display case (olivine diogenite fragments from Vestan meteorite NWA 7831).
At one time, early in asteroid Vesta's history, it was subjected to a terrible impact with another planetoid. This impact shook Vesta to it's core and nearly shattered the small world. The remnants of this ancient collision are still visible today as a massive crater on Vesta's surface. This impact ejected great quantities of Vesta's material into space, which rained down on Earth as meteorites. Similar to Earth, Vesta had undergone some differentiation into zones - crust, mantle, and core. Representatives of each layer of Vesta are present in the HEDO meteorite group.
Refer to the photos. The black centimeter cube is shown for scale and is not included. Each specimen is unique and varies slightly in appearance.
These meteorite types have been matched to asteroid Vesta by spectral analysis. The current NASA Dawn Mission is sending a probe to orbit and study asteroids Vesta and Ceres. One of the goals of this mission is to confirm the HED-Vesta meteorite connection. These studies will teach us much about the formation of Vesta and other planetoids in our solar system - including our own.