Collage of Features on Ceres
This collage shows some of the most interesting geological sites that NASA's Dawn spacecraft has revealed at dwarf planet Ceres.
Images were acquired with the spacecraft's framing camera during various phases of the mission: Survey orbit at a distance of about 2,700 miles (4,400 kilometers); high-altitude mapping orbit (HAMO) at a distance of 915 miles (1,470 kilometers) from Ceres; and low-altitude mapping orbit (LAMO) at an altitude of 240 miles (385 kilometers).
In the first row, from left to right:
- Ceres in shown in false color, roughly centered on Occator Crater, home of the brightest area on Ceres. This picture combines color images obtained by Dawn in its survey orbit. Red corresponds to a wavelength range around 980 nanometers (near infrared), green to a wavelength range around 750 nanometers (red, visible light) and blue to a wavelength range of around 430 nanometers (blue, visible light). This picture illustrates the diversity of terrains on Ceres where the bluish material points to recently emplaced material and the brownish background material is associated with older terrains.
- Occator Crater (57 miles, 92 kilometers across) is seen in LAMO images. Center coordinates are 20 degrees north latitude, 239 degrees east longitude. Named after the Roman agricultural deity of the harrowing.
- Central region of Occator Crater, called Cerealia Facula, seen in color. The facula -- or "bright spot" -- is about 9 miles (14 kilometers) in diameter. Center coordinates: 20 N, 240 E. Cerealia refers to the major festival in Ancient Rome that celebrates the grain goddess Ceres (8 days in mid- to late April). The view was produced by combining the highest resolution images of Occator obtained in LAMO (at image scales of 35 meters, or 115 feet, per pixel) with color images obtained in HAMO (at image scales of 135 meters, or about 440 feet, per pixel). The three images used to produce the color were taken using filters centered at 430, 750 and 980 nanometers (the last being slightly beyond the range of human vision, in the near-infrared).
Dawn's mission is managed by JPL for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Dawn is a project of the directorate's Discovery Program, managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. UCLA is responsible for overall Dawn mission science. Orbital ATK Inc., in Dulles, Virginia, designed and built the spacecraft. The German Aerospace Center, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Italian Space Agency and Italian National Astrophysical Institute are international partners on the mission team.
For a complete list of Dawn mission participants, visit http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov/mission.
For more information about the Dawn mission, visit http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov.