NASA’s Dawn spacecraft safely reached near Ceres. The spacecraft captured some incredible images of the dwarf planet.
Ceres is the largest object present in the asteroid belt of Mars and Jupiter. It is made up of fragments of rock and ice. It covers a third of the mass of asteroid belt with a diameter of 950 kilometers
Scientists describe Ceres as an “embryonic planet” as it is an extremely complex task for the researchers to categorize the dwarf planet. The object is not a moon, not a planet or an asteroid. Scientists discovered that the dwarf planet is the combination of all these three things. Hence, the government space agency thinks that Ceres will offer significant information related to the formation of solar system.
In 2004, the Hubble Space telescope snapped a few images of the dwarf planet. The images come with a resolution of 27 pixels from a long distance of nearly 383,000 kilometers. Thus, those images were pretty rough in terms of quality.
Recently, dawn captured a few images of Ceres that are around 80 percent of the resolution of the Hubble Telescope. The images reveal that Ceres is nearly three times better than shown in all the previous images. However, the images published on the website of the space agency are grainy.
Andreas Nathues, head investigator at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research informs that these are first images which are merely captured to get help in navigation. They will be utilized for the direction guidance of the spacecraft. The images evidently display the surface structure of the planet.