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Four views of Ceres from Hubble

Four views of Ceres from Hubble

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NASA / ESA / J. Parker (Southwest Research Institute) / P. Thomas (Cornell University) / L. McFadden (University of Maryland, College Park)

Four views of Ceres from Hubble

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope took these images of the asteroid 1 Ceres over a 2-hour and 20-minute span, the time it takes the Texas-sized object to complete one quarter of a rotation. One day on Ceres lasts 9 hours. Hubble snapped 267 images of Ceres as it watched the asteroid make more than one rotation.

The bright spot that appears in each image is a mystery. It is brighter than its surroundings, yet it is still very dark, reflecting only a small portion of the sunlight that shines on it. The observations were made in visible and in ultraviolet light. Hubble took the snapshots between December 2003 and January 2004.

Most NASA images are in the public domain. Reuse of this image is governed by NASA's image use policy.

Original image data dated on or about December 31, 2003

Explore related images: BMSIL, Hubble Space Telescope, pretty pictures, asteroids, full-globe view, asteroid 1 Ceres

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