Dawn Sees Ceres From Lowest Orbit Ever

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft is now closer to Ceres than ever before. Ceres is the largest known asteroid and the only dwarf planet in the inner solar system. After Dawn entered orbit around Ceres in March 2015, it came no closer than 240 miles (385 km) from its surface. But beginning in April this year, mission…
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Dawn To Peer At Ceres From Just 30 Miles Up

Dawn’s going down. The spacecraft, which has been orbiting Ceres since March 2015, will maneuver to its final and lowest orbit ever to take incredibly detailed photos and compositional measurements of the dwarf planet. As you read this, NASA engineers are firing Dawn’s ion engine to lower the probe into a snug loop less than…
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Ceres 300+ Bright Spots Shine Light On An Active World

If you could hop aboard NASA’s Dawn spacecraft and fly over the dwarf planet Ceres, it’s surface would look quite dark, about the same as an aged asphalt parking lot. But a closer look would reveal hundreds of bright spots. Ever since they were discovered in photos taken with the Dawn spacecraft, still in orbit about…
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New Movie Shows Ceres At ‘Full Moon’

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has taken thousands of photos of the dwarf planet Ceres, but these may be some of the weirdest. They were made on April 29, when Ceres was directly opposite the sun as seen from the spacecraft. In your mind’s eye picture a neat lineup in this order: sun – Dawn – Ceres. The…
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Is Ceres Still Spewing Haze, Oozing Brine?

New research on those bright spots inside Occator Crater on Ceres show they’re very young and may still be oozing briny lava. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) have closely examined the crater’s bright central pit domed by a deposit of mineral salt left over when brines rose to the…
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