Ceres Up Close

It’s mapping orbit #4 for the Dawn spacecraft as it orbits the dwarf planet Ceres.  Currently mapping at an altitude of only 385 Km, the images are stunning, and give a feeling of actually being on Ceres.  I can imagine the terrain, being in a crater, seeing the dark horizon off in the distance, the rocky-ice world untouched for Billions of years. It really reminds me of the Moon, with the powdery bright dust across the surface and craters dotting the landscape, yet when I see some of the close up craters, it feels very different from our familiar moon. ...

What is in Occator Crater?

The short answer is….we don’t know.  It could still be a lot of different things, but take a look for yourself and see if you can figure it out. Here are the possibilities: Ceres is soon to make a descent to its lowest orbit for final mapping, and will be orbiting only 375 Km above the surface.  This will give the highest resolution data yet, and hopefully shed some light on the mystery of Occator crater. What do you think?