[meteorite-list] New Animation Takes a Colorful Flight Over Ceres

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Wed, 3 Feb 2016 12:43:46 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <201602032043.u13Khk8l028347_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


New Animation Takes a Colorful Flight Over Ceres
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
January 29, 2016

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

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

"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.

Dawn's mission is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory 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, visit:


More information about Dawn is available at the following sites:



Media Contact

Elizabeth Landau
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Received on Wed 03 Feb 2016 03:43:46 PM PST

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