Astronomy Picture of the Day
June 15, 2015

Closing on the 'White Spots' of 1-Ceres (CTX Frame)
Closing on the 'White Spots' of 1-Ceres (CTX Frame)

Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA and Dr Paolo C. Fienga for the additional process. and color.

The brightest - and still extremely mysterious - "White Spots" found on the so-called "Dwarf Planet" 1-Ceres are very well visible in this beautiful image, taken by the NASA - Dawn Spacecraft on June 6, 2015. This specific frame is just one among the first snapshots coming from Dawn's second Mapping Orbit of 1-Ceres, which is carried out from an altitude of approx. 2700 miles (such as about 4345,218 Km).


The Resolution here is roughly 1400 feet (such as approx. 426,72 meters) per pixel. Planetary Scientists are still puzzled by the nature of these Spots, and they are considering explanations which include (like we, as IPF, had - humbly, of course - already anticipated in the recent past) Salt and (Water) Ice.


The image (which is an Original NASA - Dawn Spacecraft's b/w and NON Map-Projected frame published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 19568) has been additionally processed, magnified to aid the visibility of the details, contrast enhanced and sharpened, Gamma corrected and then colorized (according to an educated guess carried out by Dr Paolo C. Fienga-LXTT-IPF) in Absolute Natural Colors (such as the colors that a normal human eye would actually perceive if someone were onboard the NASA - Dawn Spacecraft and then looked ahead, towards  1-Ceres), by using an original technique created - and, in time, dramatically improved - by the Lunar Explorer Italia Team.



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