Universe Today’s Ken Kremer describes the progress made by Dawn in mapping dwarf planet Ceres. I am very fond of mapping celestial bodies, myself.
Slowly but surely the mysteries of dwarf planet Ceres are being peeled back layer by layer as NASA’s Dawn spacecraft orbits lower and lower and gathers detailed measurements that have now yielded global mineral and topographic maps, tantalizing researchers with the best resolution ever.
The Dawn science team has been painstakingly stitching together the spectral and imaging products captured from the lowest orbit yet achieved into high resolution global maps of Ceres, released today Sept. 30, by NASA.
“Ceres continues to amaze, yet puzzle us, as we examine our multitude of images, spectra and now energetic particle bursts,” said Chris Russell, Dawn principal investigator at the University of California, Los Angeles, in a statement.
The color coded map above is providing researchers with valuable insights into the mineral composition of Ceres surface, as well as the relative ages of the surface features that were a near total mystery until Dawn arrived on March 6, 2015.
The false-color mineral map view combines images taken using infrared (920 nanometers), red (750 nanometers) and blue (440 nanometers) spectral filters.
More, including maps, at the site.