Dawn spacecraft sends sharper scenes from Ceres

Dawn sends sharper scenes from Ceres
NASA's Dawn spacecraft spotted this tall, conical mountain on Ceres from a distance of 915 miles (1,470 kilometers). The mountain, located in the southern hemisphere, stands 4 miles (6 kilometers) high. Its perimeter is sharply defined, with almost no accumulated debris at the base of the brightly streaked slope. The image was taken on August 19, 2015. The resolution of the image is 450 feet (140 meters) per pixel. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

The closest-yet views of Ceres, delivered by NASA's Dawn spacecraft, show the small world's features in unprecedented detail, including Ceres' tall, conical mountain; crater formation features and narrow, braided fractures.

"Dawn is performing flawlessly in this new as it conducts its ambitious exploration. The spacecraft's view is now three times as sharp as in its previous mapping orbit, revealing exciting new details of this intriguing dwarf planet," said Marc Rayman, Dawn's chief engineer and mission director, based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.

At its current orbital altitude of 915 miles (1,470 kilometers), Dawn takes 11 days to capture and return images of Ceres' whole surface. Each 11-day cycle consists of 14 orbits. Over the next two months, the spacecraft will map the entirety of Ceres six times.

The spacecraft is using its framing camera to extensively map the surface, enabling 3-D modeling. Every image from this orbit has a resolution of 450 feet (140 meters) per pixel, and covers less than 1 percent of the surface of Ceres.

At the same time, Dawn's visible and infrared mapping spectrometer is collecting data that will give scientists a better understanding of the minerals found on Ceres' surface.

Dawn sends sharper scenes from Ceres
NASA's Dawn spacecraft took this image that shows a mountain ridge, near lower left, that lies in the center of Urvara crater on Ceres. Urvara is an Indian and Iranian deity of plants and fields. The crater's diameter is 101 miles (163 kilometers). This view was acquired on August 19, 2015, from a distance of 915 miles (1,470 kilometers). The resolution of the image is 450 feet (140 meters) per pixel. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

Engineers and scientists will also refine their measurements of Ceres' gravity field, which will help mission planners in designing Dawn's next orbit—its lowest—as well as the journey to get there. In late October, Dawn will begin spiraling toward this final orbit, which will be at an altitude of 230 miles (375 kilometers).

Dawn is the first mission to visit a dwarf planet, and the first to orbit two distinct solar system targets. It orbited protoplanet Vesta for 14 months in 2011 and 2012, and arrived at Ceres on March 6, 2015.

Dawn sends sharper scenes from Ceres
NASA's Dawn Spacecraft took this image of Gaue crater, the large crater on the bottom, on Ceres. Gaue is a Germanic goddess to whom offerings are made in harvesting rye. The center of this crater is sunken in. Its diameter is 84 kilometers (52 miles). The resolution of the image is 450 feet (140 meters) per pixel. The image was taken from a distance of 915 miles (1,470 kilometers) on August 18, 2015. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

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Dawn spirals closer to Ceres, returns a new view

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Aug 25, 2015
I guess this is VERY important for what is NOT here, and that is there are NO pictures of the 'bright spots'. What can be drawn from that is these are now highly CLASSIFIED. "Newest" images of bright spots as claimed by the official government site for Dawn spacecraft are from back in June. Got some movies but they seem to be retouched.

Aug 25, 2015
I guess this is VERY important for what is NOT here, and that is there are NO pictures of the 'bright spots'. What can be drawn from that is these are now highly CLASSIFIED. "Newest" images of bright spots as claimed by the official government site for Dawn spacecraft are from back in June. Got some movies but they seem to be retouched.

OR you could be wrong and it was simply that the editors wanted to use the image with the mountain and "bright spot" for another article, here:
phys.org/news/2015-08-ceres-image-lonely-mountain.html

Aug 25, 2015
SOooooooooooo, what's the mysterious, shiny material everyone's been speculating about?

Aug 25, 2015
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Aug 25, 2015
Because there is a crater of almost equal diameter immediately below the mountain, it is very easy to determine that it is a mountain and not another crater, by comparing which slopes are illuminated and which are in shadow. Hint: the light source (the sun) is to the left. Please keep your uneducated conjectures to yourself.

Aug 25, 2015
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Aug 25, 2015
There is an EXCELLENT, FACTUAL reason why there are no new photos of the white spots.

From the article above: At its current orbital altitude of 915 miles (1,470 kilometers), Dawn takes 11 days to capture and return images of Ceres' whole surface. Each 11-day cycle consists of 14 orbits. Over the next two months, the spacecraft will map the entirety of Ceres six times.

The craft just arrived at this orbit, and will take 11 yes ELEVEN DAYS to complete its first mapping, and it has not yet reached the white spots.

When it does it will probably be another couple of weeks later when the newest photos of the spots are released considering how slow the team is when it comes to releasing new photos.

Aug 25, 2015
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Aug 25, 2015
The problem is the misleading caption under the photo.

From NASA's site:
"The closest-yet views of Ceres, delivered by NASA's Dawn spacecraft, show the small world's features in unprecedented detail, including Ceres' tall, conical mountain; crater formation features and narrow, braided fractures."
http://dawn.jpl.n...?id=4697

Aug 25, 2015
This comment has been removed by a moderator.

Aug 25, 2015
This comment has been removed by a moderator.

Aug 25, 2015
looks like crystalline material , and reflective

Aug 25, 2015
@docile - barakn is correct; in the craters in the first photo the craters have shadows on their left sides, showing that the sunlight is slanting from the left. In contrast the left side of the 'mountain' is lit and the right side is shaded, showing that it is indeed a mountain.

As for 'free of erosion' there may be no rivers and not much atmosphere, but that does not mean no erosion. Meteor impacts are a form of erosion, as is rock rolling down hill when ice under it melts.

As for mountain-building, that's why the mountain is a good puzzle.
Most likely is ice being pushed up from the interior, but why it is pushed up into a mountain at just one point is still a puzzle. My guess, and it is purely a guess, is that we'll find that it is at the intersection of two ice ridges...

Aug 25, 2015
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Aug 25, 2015
On the web page from NASA about Dawn Mission fotos, there is NO picture of the spots that is newer than June.

Aug 25, 2015
The first öpicture shows clearly the clear plastic sheets they have streched down from the top of the hill. This is the same thing that made the two flares earlier this year. It is quite obvious that this is the first time we observe items actually created by an alien race.

This finally proves that we are not alone here! Their long but inconspicuous presence may now have come to an end. Could it be that they underestimated our technology? Maybe that is why they didn't bother to hide as well as on the Moon and Mars.

Actually, i'm just kidding here. But wouldn't it be so cool if this were true!

Aug 26, 2015
Be patient. All will come out in the wash.

Aug 26, 2015
I say that jokingly but in the first image, that mountain looks uncannily like some giant Patellidae (like cellana stellifera):

http://www.mollus...388898f8

Wouldn't that be the loveliest thing?


Aug 26, 2015
Oops! Beware of the optical illusion...
I like the gray bar's example. Have eyes? Be fooled... https://commons.w...sion.svg

Why not watch this "tall crater", and its surroundings, from other angles and distances?
At the right: http://www.jpl.na...ires.jpg
At the bottom: http://www.jpl.na...ires.jpg

Whatever, looks tall for a crater... huh?

Aug 26, 2015
Hint: the light source (the sun) is to the left.

Unless I'm standing on my head, I would have to say the sun is to the right in that first picture.
My money is on Ceres being a dust covered ice ball.

Aug 26, 2015
Jonseer, good one!
But you ask too much, ET's worshipers don't care on factual reasons... they just care on alien's tech being hidden by NASA, who release images of what they try to hide..... ooh yes...

From all the 'bright spots' all over Ceres, they only worry on these:
https://upload.wi...ames.jpg
http://www.jpl.na...4-16.gif

WTF? Shinier at sunlight than in darkness!
How NASA have "CLASSIFIED" them? "Intelligent life" ... "alien dopes" ..or "some shiny stuff"?
Better we wait some weeks as you said.

Aug 26, 2015
I guess this is VERY important for what is NOT here, and that is there are NO pictures of the 'bright spots'. What can be drawn from that is these are now highly CLASSIFIED. "Newest" images of bright spots as claimed by the official government site for Dawn spacecraft are from back in June. Got some movies but they seem to be retouched.


Notice the sculpted crater walls. The straight walls of the crater below the mountain appear retouched. Same is apparent in the left-side crater walls in the last picture. We will not get unfiltered photos. NASA is firstly an arm of the DoD, and simply a PR agency. What is interesting is that the DoD had no idea how widespread past mining operations might be in our solar system.

Aug 26, 2015
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