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The closest images from Ceres

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posted on Jul, 3 2018 @ 03:07 AM
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Dawn spacecraft recently got down to as low as 22 miles (35 km) above Ceres' surface, and has been returning some amazing and detailed images!

Dawn's Latest Orbit Reveals Dramatic New Views of Occator Crater

NASA's Dawn spacecraft reached its lowest-ever and final orbit around dwarf planet Ceres on June 6 and has been returning thousands of stunning images and other data.

The flight team maneuvered the spacecraft into an orbit that dives 22 miles (35 kilometers) above the surface of Ceres and viewed Occator Crater, site of the famous bright deposits, and other intriguing regions. In more than three years of orbiting Ceres, Dawn's lowest altitude before this month was 240 miles (385 kilometers), so the data from this current orbit bring the dwarf planet into much sharper focus.


Here's amosaic of a prominent mound located on the western side of Cerealia Facula (the famous bright spot in the Occator crater):




The wealth of information contained in these images, and more that are planned in the coming weeks, will help address key, open questions about the origin of the faculae, the largest deposits of carbonates observed thus far outside Earth, and possibly Mars. In particular, scientists have been wondering how that material was exposed, either from a shallow, sub-surface reservoir of mineral-laden water, or from a deeper source of brines (liquid water enriched in salts) percolating upward through fractures.


Here's another very cool image, the rim of the Occator crater:



More images can be found here: dawn.jpl.nasa.gov...




posted on Jul, 3 2018 @ 03:10 AM
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a reply to: wildespace



Here's another very cool image, the rim of the Occator crater:

The chronology is apparent. To say the least.



posted on Jul, 3 2018 @ 03:19 AM
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Fantastic! Did we ever find out what "that bright spot" was?

Scratch that........Used my eyes and looked in the article ...............sodium carbonate
edit on 3-7-2018 by CaptainBeno because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 3 2018 @ 03:22 AM
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a reply to: CaptainBeno

As quoted in the OP, sorta. Kinda.

The wealth of information contained in these images, and more that are planned in the coming weeks, will help address key, open questions about the origin of the faculae, the largest deposits of carbonates observed thus far outside Earth, and possibly Mars. In particular, scientists have been wondering how that material was exposed, either from a shallow, sub-surface reservoir of mineral-laden water, or from a deeper source of brines (liquid water enriched in salts) percolating upward through fractures.


Okey dokey

edit on 7/3/2018 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 3 2018 @ 03:25 AM
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a reply to: Phage

Thanks anyway Phage



posted on Jul, 3 2018 @ 04:54 AM
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Beautiful images. They're almost Earth-like in their detail.

I don't recall seeing any other extraterrestrial images that show a terrain like this.

I can almost picture Phage hang-gliding over those peaks.


-dex



posted on Jul, 3 2018 @ 09:51 AM
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a reply to: wildespace

Thanks for the thread wildespace.

Ceres is fascinating. Some of you may be interested to know, despite being a dwarf planet within the asteroid belt, Ceres is quite a bit larger than the recently mentioned Enceladus.



Another fun fact, our own Moon is just a tad bit bigger than Europa in the above image. Considering the comparative sizes of Jupiter, Saturn, and Earth, our Moon is huge, relative to its host planet.




edit on 732018 by CreationBro because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 3 2018 @ 03:03 PM
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originally posted by: CreationBro

Another fun fact, our own Moon is just a tad bit bigger than Europa in the above image. Considering the comparative sizes of Jupiter, Saturn, and Earth, our Moon is huge, relative to its host planet.





Back when Pluto was still a planet, it could be said that its moon Charon was even larger in ratio relative to its host planet. Charon is about 50% the size of Pluto.

However, Charon doesn't technically orbit Pluto, but rather Pluto and Charon both orbit around a common point in space. I'd say that makes Pluto-Charon a double-body system, which (to me at least) is another good reason, along with other reasons, why I agree that Pluto should not be classified as a major planet.

edit on 3/7/2018 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 3 2018 @ 04:55 PM
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What's interesting is that, while most of the white stuff on top of that small mesa is darkened through age (space weathering, dust from micromiteorites), there are bright areas on the edges of the cliff, with streaks going downslope.



This suggests freshly-exposed material.

We have so much to learn! I hope to see the main bright mound in Occator crater at this resolution.



posted on Jul, 17 2018 @ 02:22 AM
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The mosaic of the main white spot has been released, albeit in a rather small size: www.nasa.gov...

PIA21924


Along with another nearby area:

PIA21925


Hoping for full-sized versions soon.
edit on 17-7-2018 by wildespace because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 18 2018 @ 01:30 AM
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We finally got the full mosaic of the central spot, and, wow! photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov...

This mosaic of Cerealia Facula is based on images obtained by NASA's Dawn spacecraft in its second extended mission, from an altitude as low as about 21 miles (34 kilometers). The contrast in resolution obtained by the two phases is visible here, reflected by a few gaps in the high-resolution coverage. This image is superposed to a similar scene acquired in the low-altitude mapping orbit of the mission from an altitude of about 240 miles (385 km).

The increased resolution afforded by the low altitude is revealing intimate details about the relationships between bright and dark materials across the facula, which will help resolve the mystery of its origin.


Full-sized image: photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov...

Cropped and resized for this post:


And of course the additional feature (Vinalia Faculae) nearby: photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov...
photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov...

Cropped and rotated for this post:


Fascinating stuff!



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