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An artist's concept of the dwarf planet Eris and its moon Dysnomia. The sun is the small star in the distance.
An artist's concept of the dwarf planet Eris and its moon Dysnomia. The sun is the small star in the distance.

Eris and Dysnomia (Artist's Concept)

This is the most detailed view to date of the entire surface of the dwarf planet Pluto, as constructed from multiple NASA Hubble Space Telescope photographs taken from 2002 to 2003.
This is the most detailed view to date of the entire surface of the dwarf planet Pluto, as constructed from multiple NASA Hubble Space Telescope photographs taken from 2002 to 2003.

Hubble Maps of Pluto Show Surface Changes

The surface of Ceres is covered with craters of many shapes and sizes, as seen in this new mosaic of the dwarf planet comprised of images taken by NASA's Dawn mission on Feb. 19, 2015 from a distance of nearly 29,000 miles (46,000 kilometers).
The surface of Ceres is covered with craters of many shapes and sizes, as seen in this new mosaic of the dwarf planet comprised of images taken by NASA's Dawn mission on Feb. 19, 2015 from a distance of nearly 29,000 miles (46,000 kilometers).

Cratered Surface of Ceres

Ceres rotates in this frame from a movie comprised of images taken by NASA's Dawn mission during its approach to the dwarf planet. The images were taken on Feb. 19, 2015, from a distance of nearly 29,000 miles (46,000 kilometers).
Ceres rotates in this frame from a movie comprised of images taken by NASA's Dawn mission during its approach to the dwarf planet. The images were taken on Feb. 19, 2015, from a distance of nearly 29,000 miles (46,000 kilometers).

Ceres Awaits Dawn

These two views of Ceres were acquired by NASA's Dawn spacecraft on Feb. 12, 2015, from a distance of about 52,000 miles (83,000 kilometers) as the dwarf planet rotated. The images have been magnified from their original size.
These two views of Ceres were acquired by NASA's Dawn spacecraft on Feb. 12, 2015, from a distance of about 52,000 miles (83,000 kilometers) as the dwarf planet rotated. The images have been magnified from their original size.

Dawn Approaches: Two Faces of Ceres

The surface of Ceres is covered with craters of many shapes and sizes, as seen in this frame from an animation of a map of the dwarf planet's surface as seen by NASA's Dawn spacecraft on Feb. 19, 2015.
The surface of Ceres is covered with craters of many shapes and sizes, as seen in this frame from an animation of a map of the dwarf planet's surface as seen by NASA's Dawn spacecraft on Feb. 19, 2015.

Cratered Surface of Ceres in Motion

This graph shows variability in the intensity of the water absorption signal detected at Ceres by the Herschel space observatory on March 6, 2013.
This graph shows variability in the intensity of the water absorption signal detected at Ceres by the Herschel space observatory on March 6, 2013.

Water Detection on Ceres

A pair of small moons photographed by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope discovered orbiting Pluto in 2005 now have official names: Nix and Hydra.
A pair of small moons photographed by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope discovered orbiting Pluto in 2005 now have official names: Nix and Hydra.

Pluto and its Moons: Charon, Nix, and Hydra

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has caught the first image of asteroids taken from the surface of Mars. The image includes two asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. This version includes Mars' moon Deimos.
NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has caught the first image of asteroids taken from the surface of Mars. The image includes two asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. This version includes Mars' moon Deimos.

First Asteroid Image from the Surface of Mars

This still from an animation showcases a series of images NASA's Dawn spacecraft took on approach to Ceres on Feb. 4, 2015 at a distance of about 90,000 miles (145,000 kilometers) from the dwarf planet.
This still from an animation showcases a series of images NASA's Dawn spacecraft took on approach to Ceres on Feb. 4, 2015 at a distance of about 90,000 miles (145,000 kilometers) from the dwarf planet.

Animation of Ceres

NASA's Dawn spacecraft took this image of dwarf planet Ceres from about 25,000 miles (40,000 kilometers) away on Feb. 25, 2015. Ceres appears half in shadow because of the current position of the spacecraft relative to the dwarf planet and the sun.
NASA's Dawn spacecraft took this image of dwarf planet Ceres from about 25,000 miles (40,000 kilometers) away on Feb. 25, 2015. Ceres appears half in shadow because of the current position of the spacecraft relative to the dwarf planet and the sun.

Ceres in Half Shadow

This image, taken 147,000 miles (237,000 kilometers) from Ceres on January 25, 2015 by NASA's Dawn spacecraft, is part of a series of views representing the best look so far at the dwarf planet.
This image, taken 147,000 miles (237,000 kilometers) from Ceres on January 25, 2015 by NASA's Dawn spacecraft, is part of a series of views representing the best look so far at the dwarf planet.

Ceres Sharper Than Ever

This artist's concept shows NASA's Dawn spacecraft arriving at the dwarf planet Ceres, the most massive body in the asteroid belt. Dawn is the first mission to visit a dwarf planet.
This artist's concept shows NASA's Dawn spacecraft arriving at the dwarf planet Ceres, the most massive body in the asteroid belt. Dawn is the first mission to visit a dwarf planet.

Dawn's Arrival at Dwarf Planet (Artist Concept)

This is the clearest view yet of the distant planet Pluto and its moon, Charon, as revealed by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. The image was taken by the European Space Agency's Faint Object Camera on February 21, 1994.
This is the clearest view yet of the distant planet Pluto and its moon, Charon, as revealed by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. The image was taken by the European Space Agency's Faint Object Camera on February 21, 1994.

Hubble Portrait of the "Double Planet" Pluto & Charon

This is a NASA Hubble Space Telescope color image of dwarf planet Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt. The contrast has been enhanced to reveal surface details.
This is a NASA Hubble Space Telescope color image of dwarf planet Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt. The contrast has been enhanced to reveal surface details.

Color View of Ceres

Dwarf planet Ceres is located in the main asteroid belt, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, as illustrated in this artist's conception.
Dwarf planet Ceres is located in the main asteroid belt, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, as illustrated in this artist's conception.

Dwarf Planet Ceres, Artist's Impression

This frame from an animation of the dwarf planet Ceres was made by combining images taken by the Dawn spacecraft on January 25, 2015. These images of Ceres, and they represent the highest-resolution views to date of the dwarf planet.
This frame from an animation of the dwarf planet Ceres was made by combining images taken by the Dawn spacecraft on January 25, 2015. These images of Ceres, and they represent the highest-resolution views to date of the dwarf planet.

Ceres Sharper Than Ever (Animation)

This artist's concept shows NASA's Dawn spacecraft arriving at the dwarf planet Ceres. Dawn travels through space using a technology called ion propulsion, with ions glowing with blue light are accelerated out of an engine, giving the spacecraft thrust.
This artist's concept shows NASA's Dawn spacecraft arriving at the dwarf planet Ceres. Dawn travels through space using a technology called ion propulsion, with ions glowing with blue light are accelerated out of an engine, giving the spacecraft thrust.

Dawn's Blue Glow (Artist Concept)

This artist's concept shows the planet catalogued as 2003UB313 at the lonely outer fringes of our solar system. Our Sun can be seen in the distance. The new planet is at least as big as Pluto and about three times farther away from the Sun than Pluto.
This artist's concept shows the planet catalogued as 2003UB313 at the lonely outer fringes of our solar system. Our Sun can be seen in the distance. The new planet is at least as big as Pluto and about three times farther away from the Sun than Pluto.

Newest Member of Our Solar System (Artist's Concept)

This artist's concept shows NASA's Dawn spacecraft heading toward the dwarf planet Ceres. When Dawn arrives, it will be the first spacecraft to go into orbit around two destinations in our solar system beyond Earth.
This artist's concept shows NASA's Dawn spacecraft heading toward the dwarf planet Ceres. When Dawn arrives, it will be the first spacecraft to go into orbit around two destinations in our solar system beyond Earth.

On the Way to Ceres (Artist Concept)

This image is one several images NASA's Dawn spacecraft took on approach to Ceres on Feb. 4, 2015 at a distance of about 90,000 miles (145,000 kilometers) from the dwarf planet.
This image is one several images NASA's Dawn spacecraft took on approach to Ceres on Feb. 4, 2015 at a distance of about 90,000 miles (145,000 kilometers) from the dwarf planet.

Ceres on Approach

This is a raw image, taken Jan. 13, 2015, showing the dwarf planet Ceres as seen from the Dawn spacecraft on its approach. Dawn's framing camera took this image at 238,000 miles (383,000 kilometers) from Ceres.
This is a raw image, taken Jan. 13, 2015, showing the dwarf planet Ceres as seen from the Dawn spacecraft on its approach. Dawn's framing camera took this image at 238,000 miles (383,000 kilometers) from Ceres.

Ceres From Dawn, Raw

This graphic shows the planned trek of NASA's Dawn spacecraft from its launch in 2007 through its arrival at the dwarf planet Ceres in early 2015.
This graphic shows the planned trek of NASA's Dawn spacecraft from its launch in 2007 through its arrival at the dwarf planet Ceres in early 2015.

Journey to Ceres

Some might see a pancake, and others a sand dollar, in this new image from NASA's Dawn mission. Astronomers are puzzling over a mysterious large circular feature located south of the equator and slightly to the right of center in this view.
Some might see a pancake, and others a sand dollar, in this new image from NASA's Dawn mission. Astronomers are puzzling over a mysterious large circular feature located south of the equator and slightly to the right of center in this view.

'Pancake' Feature on Ceres

NASA's Dawn spacecraft will be getting an up-close look at the dwarf planet Ceres starting in late March or the beginning of April 2015. This graphic shows the science-gathering orbits planned for the spacecraft.
NASA's Dawn spacecraft will be getting an up-close look at the dwarf planet Ceres starting in late March or the beginning of April 2015. This graphic shows the science-gathering orbits planned for the spacecraft.

Closing in on Ceres

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