NASA's Dawn mission team has released a close-up video of the Vesta asteroid in full rotation.
The Vesta is the second-largest asteroid in the main asteroid belt, which is located between Mars and Jupiter.
The Dawn spacecraft put itself into the Vesta's orbit last month to conduct a year-long study of the 330-mile-wide asteroid.
"We're finally in orbit around Vesta. And it's everything we hoped it would be," said mission science chief Christopher Russell of UCLA in USA Today. "It's really a most exciting small world sitting out in the asteroid belt."
On Aug. 11, Dawn will descend to about a 1,700-mile-high orbit where scientists can exam Vesta.
NASA has said these observations will provide data to help scientists understand what is considered the earliest chapter of our solar system. The data will also pave the way for future human space missions, according to NASA.
With Dawn in orbit, scientist can take more accurate measurements of Vesta's gravity and garner more accurate timeline information.