New animation takes a colorful flight over Ceres

Date:

Share post:

A colorful new animation shows a simulated flight over the surface of dwarf planet Ceres, based on images from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft.

New animation takes a colorful flight over Ceres
Occator Crater (57 miles, 92 kilometers) on Ceres, home of the brightest spots on the dwarf planet, in a simulated view 
using Dawn images [Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA]

The movie shows Ceres in enhanced color, which helps to highlight subtle differences in the appearance of surface materials. Scientists believe areas with shades of blue contain younger, fresher material, including flows, pits and cracks.

The animated flight over Ceres emphasizes the most prominent craters, such as Occator, and the tall, conical mountain Ahuna Mons. Features on Ceres are named for earthly agricultural spirits, deities and festivals.

The movie was produced by members of Dawn’s framing camera team at the German Aerospace Center, DLR, using images from Dawn’s high-altitude mapping orbit. During that phase of the mission, which lasted from August to October 2015, the spacecraft circled Ceres at an altitude of about 900 miles (1,450 kilometers).

“The simulated overflight shows the wide range of crater shapes that we have encountered on Ceres. The viewer can observe the sheer walls of the crater Occator, and also Dantu and Yalode, where the craters are a lot flatter,” said Ralf Jaumann, a Dawn mission scientist at DLR.

Dawn is the first mission to visit Ceres, the largest object in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. After orbiting asteroid Vesta for 14 months in 2011 and 2012, Dawn arrived at Ceres in March 2015. The spacecraft is currently in its final and lowest mapping orbit, at about 240 miles (385 kilometers) from the surface.

Source: NASA [January 29, 2016]

ADVERTISEMENT

spot_img

Related articles

New study finds the mix that makes Titan’s lakes spew nitrogen bubbles

New research explains how bubbles erupt in frigid hydrocarbon lakes on Saturn's largest moon Titan, potentially creating fizz...

Earth fossils could be discovered on the moon

Kent physicists have tested what would happen if a piece of rock containing microscopic fossils from Earth was...

New study sheds light on how earliest forms of life evolved on Earth

A new study led by ANU has shed light on how the earliest forms of life evolved on...

Riding the plasma wave

Throughout the universe more than 99 percent of matter looks nothing like what's on Earth. Instead of materials...

Millimeter-sized stones formed our planet

Fragments of asteroids regularly land on Earth as meteorites. If you examine such a find, you can see...

Researchers propose utilizing data-centric methodology for extraterrestrial life exploration

A substantial consortium of astronomers and astrophysicists, representing a diverse array of expertise, has convened to advocate for...

To find giant black holes, start with Jupiter

The revolution in our understanding of the night sky and our place in the universe began when we...

First glimpse into birth of the Milky Way

For almost 20 years astrophysicists have been trying to recreate the formation of spiral galaxies such as our...