Striking 3-D detail highlights a towering mountain, a deep crater with bright spots and other features on dwarf planet Ceres in a new video from NASA’s Dawn mission.
Ceres is the largest object in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. In March 2015, the Dawn spacecraft arrived at Ceres – the first mission to reach a dwarf planet. On June 3, Dawn moved from an original orbit to a second, closer orbit. The spacecraft observed the dwarf planet from 2,700 miles (4,400 kilometers) above its surface until June 28.
Dawn will resume its observations of Ceres in mid-August from its next orbit, an altitude of 900 miles (less than 1,500 kilometers), or three times closer to Ceres than its previous orbit. We’re looking forward to what we might see!
New names and insights about Ceres
Bottom line: New video from NASA’s Dawn mission is takes a tour of dwarf planet Ceres, over a towering mountain and the mysterious bright spots.
Eleanor Imster has helped write and edit EarthSky since 1995. She was an integral part of the award-winning EarthSky radio series almost since it began until it ended in 2013. Today, as Lead Editor at EarthSky.org, she helps present the science and nature stories and photos you enjoy. She also serves as one of the voices of EarthSky on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and G+. She and her husband live in Tennessee and have two grown sons.