Astronomy Picture of the Day
December 13, 2015

What a View!
What a View!

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

This beautiful Image-Mosaic of the Dwarf Planet 1-Ceres, obtained by putting together several pictures taken by the NASA - Dawn Spacecraft, shows us, once again, one of its most intriguing Surface Features, such as Occator Crater (almost on the Limb of this truly strange Dwarf-Planet). Occator Crater is roughly 60 miles (such as approx. 96,5604 Km) across and about 2 about miles (approx. 3,218 Km) deep, and its the home of some of the brightest Areas (the so-called "White Spots") of 1-Ceres.


Once again, if you compare this frame with others, always related, of course, to the same Area, you may notice (at least, so we did, as IPF, in our humble opinion and by using our VERY poor means) the occurrence of some - truly small (but, in this view, really obvious) - changing in the White Spots themselves. Now, as you know, just like we know, 1-Ceres is an airless Celestial Body and, technically speaking, also a "dead" Celestial Body (---> which means that there are no more Tectonic and/or Volcanic Activities - assuming that they ever occurred, perhaps eons ago - inside it). So, if this - maybe questionable - assumption is correct, why the White Spots are (better yet, "seem to be") changing?


Maybe the time will tell us. Or maybe not...


The original images were taken from an altitude of approx. 2700 miles (such as about 4345,218 Km) from the Surface. Bright Materials, just out of curiosity, have been already found in more than 130 locations on 1-Ceres, and it seems that they are consistent with Salts, such as Sulfates. It is also likely that Silicate Materials are present over there.


This picture (which is an Original NASA - Dawn Spacecraft's, falsely colored and NON Map-Projected image-mosaic published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA - 20180) has been additionally processed, extra-magnified to aid the visibility of the details, contrast enhanced and sharpened, Gamma corrected and then re-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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