Limb of Ceres

Limb of Ceres
Limb of Ceres While orbiting Ceres on May 16, Dawn turned to the side so it could catch sight of the limb against the deep black of space and take a neat picture like this. First, let's get the quantitative details out of the way: the prominent (but unnamed) crater in the foreground is about 17 miles (27 kilometers) across and is at 35°N, 350°E on this map. The crater we see nearly edge-on on the limb at upper left is 75 miles (120 kilometers) away from it. It is 19 miles (31 kilometers) in diameter and at 23°N, 336°E. The spacecraft was flying 270 miles (440 kilometers) above the ground when it took this picture, and the horizon is around 500 miles (800 kilometers) away. Perhaps more important than the specifics of the scene is the irresistible lure of the horizon, which is a reflection of what compels us to explore space. We yearn to expand our horizons, to seek exotic new sights, like the many Dawn has found on the dwarf planet that is now its permanent home in the solar system. And yet no sooner do we behold new vistas than we want to go over the next horizon to witness new ones. This picture reminds us of that. As we continue to explore, to push on to the distant horizon, that horizon draws near and comes into sharper focus and, of course, reveals a new horizon that beckons. Read more below about this photo. Full image and caption. NASA / JPL-Caltech / UCLA / MPS / DLR / IDA

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