Gazing over Ceres

Gazing over Ceres
Gazing over Ceres This is one of Dawn's last pictures of Ceres, taken on Sept. 1. As explained below, by that date, when the spacecraft was at low altitude, the ground beneath it was in darkness. But 10 hours after skimming low over the ground, Dawn looked down from 2,340 miles (3,770 kilometers). From this vantage point, the gleaming features in Occator Crater were as mesmerizing as ever. Cerealia Facula, the bright center of the crater, was 2,470 miles (3,970 kilometers) away. Dawn was looking south, so Vinalia Faculae, the grouping of other bright regions to the east, are left of Cerealia Facula, opposite the usual perspective. (Rotate the picture to put the limb at the bottom to see the conventional orientation.) We have seen many other views of the 57-mile (92-kilometer) Occator Crater and its highly reflective deposits of salt, most recently last monthFull image and caption. NASA / JPL-Caltech / UCLA / MPS / DLR / IDA

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