PIA20350: Occator Crater and Ceres' Brightest Spots
 Target Name:  Ceres
 Is a satellite of:  Dwarf Planet
 Mission:  Dawn
 Spacecraft:  Dawn
 Instrument:  Framing Camera
 Product Size:  7702 x 7702 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  JPL
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA20350.tif (30.67 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA20350.jpg (4.377 MB)

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Occator Crater, measuring 57 miles (92 kilometers) across and 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) deep, contains the brightest area on Ceres. This region has been the subject of intense interest since Dawn's approach to the dwarf planet in early 2015.

Dawn's close-up view reveals a dome in a smooth-walled pit in the bright center of the crater. Numerous linear features and fractures crisscross the top and flanks of this dome. Prominent fractures also surround the dome and run through smaller, bright regions found within the crater.

A separate figure shows the bright spots in a mosaic of two Dawn images taken using a shorter exposure time. The shorter exposure reveals details within the bright features that are overexposed, or nearly so, in the full mosaic.

The images used to make these mosaics were taken from Dawn's low-altitude mapping orbit (LAMO), 240 miles (385 kilometers) above Ceres.

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, the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, the Italian Space Agency and the Italian National Astrophysical Institute are international partners on the mission team. For a complete list of acknowledgments, see http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov/mission.

For more information about the Dawn mission, visit http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA/PSI

Image Addition Date:
2016-03-22