The first book in Octavia Butler's excellent Xenogenesis trilogy. 250 years after a destructive nuclear war she thought she'd died in, Lilith Iyapo awakens aboard an alien ship.. and discovers the disturbing price humanity must pay for being saved by the gentle Oankali, a race of natural genetic engineers.

Dawn is the star and title character in the comic book series drawn and written by Joseph Michael Linsner.

She is the goddess of rebirth, and her lover is Cernunnos, the Horned God, otherwise known as Death. Dawn has an amazing ability, due to her lack of allegiance to any supernatural faction, that allows her to travel anywhere in the cosmos, making her the ideal go-between, especially between Ahura-Mazda(aka, God) and Lucipher.

Dawn can almost universally be distinguished by her three tears, although her appearance can vary greatly.

She would just sneak up on you, like a ghost...a phantom. Then she was just there, like a part of you, there forever.

There would be times when I would get home and the last thing that I wanted to do was smile. Then the phone would ring. I would go over and check the caller ID to see who it was. What if its that girl that wants to sleep with me, that girl that I want nothing to do with because all she ever talks about is herself and how much she likes to do this and that (you know what I mean). If its her, I would think to myself, she can just sit there listening to the pretty ringing sound that is coming out of the phone. There is no way that I want to talk to her, until she has something good to say. I'm not saying that I hate her or anything, she just has a way of making your plans for you, and for that reason I never answered her calls. There was other people I needed to talk to, at least until I was able to relax. It was almost never her. Usually it would be my brother calling from his mistresses? house, wanting to see if there were any bills that he needed to pay on. Damn. I do appreciate him calling, to make sure that our bills were kept up, but there were other people that I would rather talk to. Usually those other people were actually just one person. This is where she comes in. She made me smile.

I only knew her for a while before she left for another place, but there was just something about her that made her different than most people that I have stumbled upon. You would see her walking down the street, and you just had to stop her to talk to her, even if only just for a minute. She loved to talk, at least that's how it seemed to me, she never actually admitted it though. Actually, if you can picture this, this little tidbit about stopping her to talk to her, reminds me of something that you would always see on T.V.. I remember when, in the Eighties, in those cheesy pop videos that everyone was always so crazy about, there would be a lady walking down the street, all dressed up in the new fashion. All of the guys would stop every thing that they were doing just to try to talk to her. She was sort of like that, except that not just the guys wanted to talk to her? everyone wanted to talk to her. She bought most of her clothes at the thrift store, so I guess that the fashion thing is a little different also. But that is the scene that pops up into my head when I think of her, amongst others of course. She always knew some one, to get back to the point. Every one of the words that came out of her mouth when she talked to you had a feeling of worth and sense, like she meant every thing. That it came from the heart, or something along those lines (sorry about the cliché). Even when she was angry, her words still had that feeling. That's probably one of the reasons that everybody loved her, the sense of ease that there was when you spoke with her. I would bring this point up to her and she would respond with "Don't say that, I'm just a person, just like everybody else. That's exactly what she would say. I loved that about her.

Her coffee was the best. I might sound just a little strange, but it's the truth. She used Maxwell House(or one of those major brands) just like everybody else and their mother. But, damn, her coffee was always the best. She would call you in the morning and ask you if you wanted to come over to have a cup with her. For some reason that always made me feel special, like I was some one important. Or, in the evening she would call and ask if you wanted to watch a movie and have a cup. Usually we would all end up getting stoned and half fall asleep by the time the movie was over, but that just makes the memory a little bit more interesting. O.K., I might be exaggerating just a bit on the way I make these things sound so frequent, but I only knew her in person for a short time. But really, I would show up at her back door for a cup of coffee with a side of conversation with no questions asked. Do I want to go hang out with people I have seen every day for the last who knows how many years, or, go and get to know just a little bit more about the most interesting person I have yet to meet? That's not a tough one.

I have come to realize that, there are people that you meet sometimes and all you want to do is care for them. Not particularly take care of them, but just care. Everybody should care for everybody, but this girl I just wanted to care for. Just listen to her talk, and go on walks. I felt comfort in knowing that everything was copasetic with her, that every thing was good. I don't think that she liked me caring for her. Everybody cared for her though, even her ex-boyfriends, and their mothers. That's got to say something.

Now, I feel kind of strange about the whole situation I had with her. It's very bizarre, the fact that we only hung out for a few months. Its not like she was some old friend, though it felt that way. To come so close to someone that quick, somewhat scary. I remember laying awake at night in her bed, just talking... nothing else. Talking about middle names, where we would want to move to given the chance, love that we have had and lost, just little things but they meant a lot. She said she liked it just where she was. Damn. That took a strange turn.

The Dawn mission is a NASA undertaking to study Ceres and Vesta, the two largest objects in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Scheduled for a June 2006 launch, Dawn is the tenth mission if NASA's Discovery Program. Orbital Sciences Corporation will design and build the spacecraft, while NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory will provide the ion propulsion engine.

Intrigue of Vesta and Ceres

Representing the oldest known worlds in the solar system, Vesta and Ceres are essentially time capsules from the formation of the planets. Although they are comprised of similar matter as the other inner planets, their growth was stunted by the presence of Jupiter, which gravitationally discouraged the further accretion of nearby asteroids. Meteorites found on Earth that appear to have originated from Vesta suggest a howardite, eucrite, and diogenite (HED) composition. Based on these meteorites, scientists believe Vesta formed only 5-15 million years after the beginning of the solar system. Contrasted with Earth's 50 million year accretion period and Mars' 30 million years, Vesta holds clues as to the composition of the inner planets early in their development. Using cosmic ray exposure dating of Vestan meteorites, scientists believe at least five major impacts have altered Vesta's landscape in the last 50 million years. These craters will allow Dawn to peek inside the massive asteroid, revealing the composition of its interior. While no meteorite specimens from Ceres have been found on Earth, scientists believe it must have formed around the same time as Vesta.

Spectrometry suggests Ceres contains water-bearing minerals and perhaps a thin atmosphere. Discovered in 1801 by Giuseppe Piazzi, it was the first asteroid to be identified, giving it the title of "1 Ceres". It is named for the Roman goddess of agriculture. With a diameter of 932 kilometers, it is the largest asteroid in the solar system, yet is less spherically developed of the two protoplanet targets of the mission. While Ceres might have seasonal polar ice caps, Vesta, on the other hand, is a warmer and dryer world, with evidence of lava flow on the surface and a more spherical shape with a diameter of 525 km. Heinrich Olbers discovered Vesta in 1804, making it the fourth asteroid discovered, and so it is traditionally cited as "4 Vesta". It is the brightest asteroid, and the only one visible with the naked eye. Vesta is named for the Roman goddess of the hearth.

Onboard Instrumentation and their Scientific Objectives

The Dawn mission seeks to measure the composition, mass, volume, and spin rate of Ceres and Vesta using three basic onboard instruments. A Framing Camera will offer photographs of the protoplanets to study their surface morphology and craters.  To obtain data regarding the elemental composition of the worlds, Dawn will employ a Visible and IR Mapping Spectrometer. This spectrometer will also give insights into the thermal history of the bodies. A Gamma Ray and Neutron Detector will assist in the search for water-bearing minerals.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Ion Propulsion

Ion propulsion in spacecraft was first successfully by the Deep Space 1 mission in 1998 and 1999. This advanced technique allows spacecraft to achieve great speeds with very little onboard fuel. Electricity generated from large solar panels is used to charge tiny amounts xenon atoms which are then thrust from the back of the spacecraft. Since there is no friction in space, these tiny spurts cumulate into a great deal of acceleration for the probe. Dawn will only use 275 kg of xenon fuel to arrive at Vesta, and another 110 kg to reach Ceres. Still, not enough speed will be generated after launch to take advantage of a direct route to Ceres and Vesta. Instead, Dawn will take a roundabout trip, utilizing a flyby of Mars and Earth to gain acceleration en route to its targets.

Critical Mission Dates

  • June 2006 - Launch
  • February 2009 - Mars flyby
  • October 2011 - Vesta arrival
  • May 2012 - Vesta departure
  • August 2015 - Ceres arrival
  • January 2016 - End of operations - The Dawn's Early Light (Newsletter following the Dawn Mission)

Other NASA Discovery Program Missions
·Mars Pathfinder·
·Lunar Prospector·
·Deep Impact·

Dawn (?), v. i. [imp. & p. p. Dawned (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Dawning.] [OE. dawnen, dawen, dagen, daien, AS. dagian to become day, to dawn, fr. daeg day; akin to D. dagen, G. tagen, Icel. daga, Dan. dages, Sw. dagas. See Day. 71.]


To begin to grow light in the morning; to grow light; to break, or begin to appear; as, the day dawns; the morning dawns.

In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene . . . to see the sepulcher. Matt. xxviii. 1.


To began to give promise; to begin to appear or to expand.

"In dawning youth."


When life awakes, and dawns at every line. Pope.

Dawn on our darkness and lend us thine aid. Heber,


© Webster 1913.

Dawn, n.


The break of day; the first appeareance of light in the morning; show of approaching sunrise.

And oft at dawn, deep noon, or falling eve. Thomson.

No sun, no moon, no morn, no noon, No dawn, no dusk, no proper time of day. Hood.


First opening or expansion; first appearance; beginning; rise.

"The dawn of time."


These tender circumstances diffuse a dawn of serenity over the soul. Pope.


© Webster 1913.

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