This image from NASA's Dawn spacecraft shows Dantu Crater, which is 78 miles (126 kilometers) across. Its shape is reminiscent of Occator Crater -- in particular, they both have shallow floors and central pits. This suggests melting and possibly some hydrothermal activity occurred following impact that formed Dantu. Part of the energy generated by the impact would have been turned into heat.
The relatively warm temperatures found at the low latitudes of Dantu and Occator make it easier for Ceres' ice-rich material to melt as a consequence of impact-generated heat. The unnamed crater seen below Dantu in this image is smaller and has a much rougher floor. This is because the smaller impact event would not have generated as much heat.
The numerous bright spots found across the crater suggest bright material may be just below the surface, exposed through small impacts and landslides. Ejected material from Dantu extends up to Kerwan crater, with a dark color reminiscent of material that came from Occator.
Dantu was named for the Ghanaian god associated with the planting of the corn.
This picture was taken by the Dawn framing camera on September 25, 2015, from 915 miles (1,470 kilometers) altitude. The center coordinates of this picture are 22 degrees north latitude, 133 degrees east longitude.
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.