Archive for August, 2015


21 Aug
Marc Rayman
Marc Rayman
Chief Engineer/ Mission Director, JPL

Dawn Journal | August 21

by Marc Rayman

Dear Unhesidawntingly Enthusiastic Readers,

 Striking 3-D detail highlights a towering mountain, the brightest spots and other features on dwarf planet Ceres in a new video from NASA's Dawn mission

This is a very brief clip from an animation of Ceres based on Dawn’s observations through the second mapping orbit. The entire animation (along with a recording of your correspondent’s informal commentary) is here. This excerpt shows the conical mountain, and you can see more about it in pictures below. The complete animation also shows the bright spots and a 3-D view of the dwarf planet. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA/LPI

An ambitious explorer from Earth is gaining the best views ever of dwarf planet Ceres. More than two centuries after its discovery, this erstwhile planet is now being mapped in great detail by Dawn.

The spacecraft is engaged in some of the most intensive observations of its entire mission at Ceres, using its camera and other sensors to scrutinize the alien world with unprecedented clarity and completeness. At an average altitude of 915 miles (1,470 kilometers) and traveling at 400 mph (645 kilometers per hour), Dawn completes an orbit every 19 hours. The pioneer will be here for more than two months before descending to its final orbit.

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