Fractures in Occator Crater

Fractures in Occator Crater
Fractures in Occator Crater Dawn captured this view of the fractured southwestern floor of Occator Crater from 240 miles (385 kilometers) high on Aug. 16, 2016. This is the spacecraft's lowest altitude so far in its exploration of Ceres. Occator is the site of the dwarf planet's most famous bright material. We have seen many views of this crater, most recently here. The scene here is about 22 miles (36 kilometers) on a side, so many of the canyons you see extend for miles (kilometers), perhaps providing an exciting destination for future extraterrestrial adventurers. Although this looks like it might have been spun by a giant spider, Cerean araneids are not large enough, and this photo is of greater value to geologists than arachnologists. The web of canyons suggest that underground material pushed up and fractured the crater floor. The material may have originated deep in Ceres or could be a reservoir of icy magma that is slowly freezing and so is expanding. Full image and caption. NASA / JPL-Caltech / UCLA / MPS / DLR / IDA

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