There are few images of dwarf planets in our solar system as opposed to the major planets. Dwarf planets though are just as important in the solar system, as they could provide much needed insight to how the solar system formed. More images of dwarf planets might be added soon, as dwarf planet Ceres is seen in new views taken by the Dawn spacecraft.
NASA's Dawn spacecraft has taken new images of the dwarf planet Ceres. The images were taken when the spacecraft has been around 1,480 kilometers above Ceres. In the images can be seen one of the prominent features of Ceres, which is Occator crater.
Occator crater is 92 kilometers wide and 4 kilometers deep. It is found in an area that is geologically active. There is evidence of recent geological activity, as a bright area has been seen in the crater. This bright area is said to have been produced by a briny liquid from below the surface. All that remains of this liquid is salt, which is reflecting light which makes it bright.It is likely that the briny liquid came out as a result of the impact which created the crater millions of years ago.
The images that have been taken last October adds to the thousands of images which Dawn has taken since it arrived on Ceres last March 6, 2015, according to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory's site. Another image which Dawn scientists have released is a colored one, and would be how Ceres would look like if seen by the naked eye. The image has been made by combining images of Ceres taken in 2015 using the camera's red, green and blue filters.
The Dawn spacecraft has made its sixth science orbit, which began on November 4. This would be about 7,200 kilometers from Ceres, as Science Daily reports. The spacecraft will reach its target orbit this December. One of the goals for this orbit is to refine the measurements of Ceres in order to have them more accurate.
New images of Ceres have been transmitted, as dwarf planet Ceres is seen in new views taken by the Dawn spacecraft. The spacecraft has so far seen both Ceres and protoplanet Vesta, which Dawn has gone to from July 2011 to September 2012. Also preparing to view Saturn's rings is Cassini, which is eagerly awaited.