An update on the bright spots on Ceres. New photos show more detail.
The brightest spots on the dwarf planet Ceres gleam with mystery in new views delivered by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft. These closest-yet views of Occator crater, with a resolution of 450 feet (140 meters) per pixel, give scientists a deeper perspective on these very unusual features.
The new up-close view of Occator crater from Dawn’s current vantage point reveals better-defined shapes of the brightest, central spot and features on the crater floor. Because these spots are so much brighter than the rest of Ceres’ surface, the Dawn team combined two different images into a single composite view — one properly exposed for the bright spots, and one for the surrounding surface.
Back in June, the spots on Ceres were compared to the lights of Las Vegas. It was hoped that higher res photos would help solve this mystery of the bright spots located in the crater. Seems we’re not quite there yet but more data and results are to come in the next few months. NASA/JPL aren’t panicking over it being a city on the dwarf planet between Mars and Jupiter. Just for fun, you can vote on what you think the spots are (though science isn’t decided by popular vote). Currently “Other” is winning at 39% with “ice” in second place.
Tour Ceres here.