Yalode crater is so large -- at 162 miles, 260 kilometers in diameter -- that a variety of vantage points is necessary to understand its geological context. This view of the northern portion of Yalode is one of many images NASA's Dawn spacecraft has taken of this crater.
The large impact that formed the crater likely involved a lot of heat, which explains the relatively smooth crater floor punctuated by smaller craters. A couple of larger craters in Yalode have polygonal shapes. This type of crater shape is frequently found on Ceres and may be indicative of extensive underground fractures. The larger crater to the right of center in this image is called Lono (12 miles, 20 kilometers in diameter) and the one below it is called Besua (11 miles, 17 kilometers). The global map of Ceres can be used to locate these features.
Some of the small craters are accompanied by ejecta blankets that are more reflective than their surroundings.
The strange Nar Sulcus fractures can be seen in the bottom left corner of the picture. Linear features seen throughout the image may have formed when material collapsed above empty spaces underground. These linear features include linear chains of craters called catenae.
Dawn took this image on September 27, 2015, from 915 miles (1,470 kilometers) altitude. The center coordinates of this image are 32 degrees south latitude and 300 degrees east longitude.
Yalode gets its name from a goddess worshipped by women at the harvest rites in the Dahomey culture of western Africa. Besua takes its name from the Egyptian grain god, and Lono from the Hawaiian god of agriculture.
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.