New stunning images of Ceres show craters and bright spots

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New stunning images of Ceres show craters and bright spots

This image from NASA's Dawn spacecraft shows Kupalo Crater, one of the youngest craters on Ceres. The crater has bright material exposed on its rim and walls, which could be salts. Its flat floor likely formed from impact melt and debris.

(Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA)

This image from NASA's Dawn spacecraft shows part of Messor Crater (25 miles or 40 kilometers, wide), located at northern mid-latitudes on Ceres. The scene shows an older crater in which a large lobe-shaped flow partly covers the northern (top) part of the crater floor. The flow is a mass of material ejected when a younger crater formed just north of the rim.

(Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA)

The fractured floor of Dantu Crater on Ceres is seen in this image from NASA's Dawn spacecraft. Similar fractures are seen in Tycho, one of the youngest large craters on Earth's moon. This cracking may have resulted from the cooling of impact melt, or when the crater floor was uplifted after the crater formed.

(Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA)

NASA's Dawn spacecraft viewed this Cerean crater, which is covered in ridges and steep slopes, called scarps on Dec. 23, 2015. These features likely resulted when the crater partly collapsed during its formation. The curvilinear nature of the scarps resembles those on the floor of Rheasilvia, the giant impact crater on Vesta, which Dawn orbited from 2011 to 2012.

(Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA)

This image of Ceres was taken in Dawn's low-altitude mapping orbit around a crater chain called Gerber Catena. A 3-D view is also available.

(Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA)

This view of Ceres, taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft on December 10, shows an area in southern hemisphere of the dwarf planet. It is located at approximately 85.6 south longitude, 176.6 east longitude.

(Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA)

This view of Ceres, taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft on December 10, shows an area in the southern mid-latitudes of the dwarf planet. It is located in an area around a crater chain called Samhain Catena, at approximately 23.2 south latitude, 216.8 east longitude.

(Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA)

An image of Occator Crater draped over a digital terrain model provides a 3-D-like perspective view of the impact structure.  Several bright areas can be seen in this crater. The inner part of the crater forms a type of “crater within a crater” measuring about 6 miles (10 kilometers) in diameter and 0.3 miles (0.5 miles) in depth, and contains the brightest material on all of Ceres. Occator measures about 60 miles (90 kilometers) wide.

(Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA)

This view from NASA's Dawn spacecraft features a crater named Oxo, which is about 6 miles (9 kilometers) in diameter. A short, linear slump, where a mass of material has dropped below the surface, is seen to the left of Oxo's crater rim.

(Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA)

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Recent images from the Dawn spacecraft show the dwarf planet Ceres in sharp detail.

NASA notes, "Kupalo Crater, one of the youngest craters on Ceres, shows off many fascinating attributes...the crater has bright material exposed on its rim, which could be salts, and its flat floor likely formed from impact melt and debris."

The exploratory craft was also able to capture a compact arrangement of fractures on the floor of Dantu Crater, similar to fractures on the floor of the Tycho crater on Earth's moon.

According to the space agency, "This cracking may have resulted from the cooling of impact melt, or when the crater floor was uplifted after the crater formed."

Dawn stands as the first mission to ever visit a dwarf planet.

The images were taken from a distance of 240 miles, between December 19th and 23rd, 2015.

New Stunning Images Of Ceres Show Craters And Bright Spots
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