Close-up of Occator Crater
This view across the southeastern floor of the large Occator Crater on the dwarf planet Ceres, in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, is based on images obtained during NASA's Dawn spacecraft second extended mission in 2018. The southern rim in the distance rises 2 miles (3.5 kilometers) above the floor. These images were obtained from altitudes between 22 and 31 miles (35 and 50 kilometers.)
Occator Crater is 57 miles (92 kilometers) across. Bright pits and mounds in the foreground were formed by salty liquid released during the freezing of the water-rich floor, following the crater-forming impact about 20 million years ago. These features are a few miles across. This area shown here is 6 miles (about 10 kilometers) wide in the foreground and 12 miles (about 20 kilometers) in the background.
This image was produced by Paul Schenk at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston.
Dawn's mission is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech, for the agency'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. JPL is responsible for overall Dawn mission science. Northrop Grumman 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 mission participants, visit: https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/missions/dawn/overview/.