[meteorite-list] New Ceres Images Show Bright Craters
From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Tue, 19 Apr 2016 16:37:01 -0700 (PDT)
New Ceres Images Show Bright Craters
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
April 19, 2016
Ceres' Haulani Crater, with a diameter of 21 miles (34 kilometers), shows
evidence of landslides from its crater rim. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA
Craters with bright material on dwarf planet Ceres shine in new images
from NASA's Dawn mission.
In its lowest-altitude mapping orbit, at a distance of 240 miles (385
kilometers) from Ceres, Dawn has provided scientists with spectacular
views of the dwarf planet.
Haulani Crater, with a diameter of 21 miles (34 kilometers), shows evidence
of landslides from its crater rim. Smooth material and a central ridge
stand out on its floor. An enhanced false-color view allows scientists
to gain insight into materials and how they relate to surface morphology.
This image shows rays of bluish ejected material. The color blue in such
views has been associated with young features on Ceres.
"Haulani perfectly displays the properties we would expect from a fresh
impact into the surface of Ceres. The crater floor is largely free of
impacts, and it contrasts sharply in color from older parts of the surface,"
said Martin Hoffmann, co-investigator on the Dawn framing camera team,
based at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, G??ttingen,
The crater's polygonal nature (meaning it resembles a shape made of straight
lines) is noteworthy because most craters seen on other planetary bodies,
including Earth, are nearly circular. The straight edges of some Cerean
craters, including Haulani, result from pre-existing stress patterns and
faults beneath the surface.
A hidden treasure on Ceres is the 6-mile-wide (10-kilometer-wide) Oxo
Crater, which is the second-brightest feature on Ceres (only Occator's
central area is brighter). Oxo lies near the 0 degree meridian that defines
the edge of many Ceres maps, making this small feature easy to overlook.
Oxo is also unique because of the relatively large "slump" in its crater
rim, where a mass of material has dropped below the surface. Dawn science
team members are also examining the signatures of minerals on the crater
floor, which appear different than elsewhere on Ceres.
"Little Oxo may be poised to make a big contribution to understanding
the upper crust of Ceres," said Chris Russell, principal investigator
of the mission, based at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Dawn's mission is managed by JPL for NASA's Science Mission Directorate
in Washington. Dawn is a project of the directorate's Discovery Program,
managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
UCLA is responsible for overall Dawn mission science. Orbital ATK Inc.,
in Dulles, Virginia, designed and built the spacecraft. The German Aerospace
Center, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Italian Space
Agency and Italian National Astrophysical Institute are international
partners on the mission team. For a complete list of mission participants,
More information about Dawn is available at the following sites:
News Media Contact
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
Elizabeth.Landau at jpl.nasa.gov
Received on Tue 19 Apr 2016 07:37:01 PM PDT