NASA showed close-UPS of dwarf Ceres

NASA showed close-UPS of dwarf Ceres

"Dawn is like a master artist, adding rich details to the otherworldly beauty in its intimate portrait of Ceres".

The latest images released by NASA depict the 92-kilometer-wide Occator Crater of Ceres. Landslides are clearly visible on the rim.

This close-up image of the Vinalia Faculae in Occator Crater was obtained by NASA's Dawn spacecraft on June 14, 2018 from an altitude of about 24 miles (39 kilometers).

Dawn was directed into its last orbit, where it will arc over the tiny planetoid again and again, peering down from an estimated 22 miles (35 kilometers) above the dwarf planet's surface.

At the beginning of last month, Don set his way around a new orbit around Ceres, an oval path that only checks out the dwarf planet within only 21 miles (34 kilometers) of the planet.

After spending more than three years in the vicinity of Ceres, NASA's Dawn spacecraft shifted to a new orbit, one that brings the probe closer than ever to the dwarf planet and provides an unprecedented opportunity to observe and understand odd features seen on the distant body. Dawn's successful arrival to Ceres made the space craft the first one ever to orbit two objects other than the Earth and its moon. "In particular, scientists have been wondering how that material was exposed, either from a shallow, subsurface reservoir of mineral-laden water, or from a deeper source of brines (liquid water enriched in salts) percolating upward through fractures", NASA said in this week's image advisory. This is the region of Occator Crater that contains a large deposit of sodium carbonate. But it is unclear exactly where the water came from.

According to NASA, researchers will employ the spacecraft's visible and infrared mapping spectrometer as well as other instruments (which include a gamma ray and neutron detector as well as a visible and infrared mapping spectrometer) to study the dwarf planet's features in greater detail.

Hopefully, the NASA's scientists will eventually find what is dwarf planet Ceres "hiding" before the NASA's Dawn probe ends it fuel which is expected to deplete in September.

Carol Raymond, Dawn's principal investigator, said: "The first views of Ceres obtained by Dawn beckoned us with a single, blinding bright spot".

Last week the spacecraft fired off its ion engine, potentially for the very last time, in an attempt to get even closer to Cerealia Facula. "While the extension of Dawn in ceras, it has been exciting to highlight the nature and history of this fascinating dwarf planet, and it is particularly appropriate that Don's final work will provide rich new data sets to test those principles".

The Dawn probe started its orbit of Vesta in June 2011 and wrapped up in September 2012.

The Dawn mission is managed by JPL for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

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