Vesta asteroid

Associated Press
In this image released by NASA/JPL on Thursday July 28,2011 shows an image of the dark side of Vesta asteroid captured by NASA'S Dawn spacecraft on July 23, 2011, and taken from a distance of about 3,200 miles (5,200 kilometers) away from the giant asteroid. Scientists are busy poring through images of  Vesta, the first time it has been photographed up close. On July 15,  the Dawn spacecraft slipped into orbit around the 330-mile-wide rocky body and began beaming back images. (AP Photo/NASA/JPL)

View gallery

11 photos

NASA is partnering with the billionaire-backed company Planetary Resources Inc., to launch asteroid-hunting competitions, and they want your help.

Then U.S. space agency and the asteroid-mining firm are seeking to crowdsource new ideas for software to find space rocks that could pose a threat to our planet — or at least be of interest to scientists and cosmic mineral prospectors.

These images depict views of the massive asteroid Vesta - how it is more like a planet than an asteroid, scientists said Dec. 5, 2011.

Find more news related pictures in our photo galleries and follow us on Tumblr

View Comments (6)