The NASA Dawn spacecraft provided more detailed information about the mysterious bright spots on the dwarf planet Ceres. Dawn was located about 2,700 miles from the surface of the dwarf planet - the largest object in the main asteroid belt - June 9, when this image was taken.
On June 6, Dawn Station photographed an object that resembles a pyramid or mountain about 5 km high above the surface level. Photo: NASA / JPL-Caltech / UCLA / MPS / DLR / IDA.
D 2700 miles from Ceres, NASA's automatic Dawn station took fresh snapshots of a dwarf planet showing even more tiny bright spots inside the 55-mile crater.
At least 8 sparkling areas have been found currently inside the crater. Scientists suspect that this is some kind of highly reflective material, like ice or salt, but there are other options that assume they are geysers, volcanoes, or rocks. New images that were taken from the satellite on June 9 and published today (June 22) also show that Ceres has a steep five-kilometer hill, towering above the relatively smooth and even surface of the planet.
There are several craters on the planet with a predominance of central peaks and landslides with a falling structure, which testify to the activity of the surface of Ceres in the past.
In August, the Dawn spacecraft is scheduled to conduct several observations of Ceres in its lower orbit, just 900 miles from the dwarf planet.