Astronomy Picture of the Day
May 26, 2015

More 'White Spots' on 1-Ceres
More 'White Spots' on 1-Ceres

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

This extraordinary Contextual Frame of the so-called "Dwarf-Planet" known as 1-Ceres is part of a sequence taken by the NASA - Dawn Spacecraft on May 16, 2015, from a distance of about 4.500 miles (such as approx. 7.242,03 Km) from its - so far, pretty much unknown and extremely interesting, from many points of view - highly cratered Surface.

In this view we can see a few other so-called "White Spots" which add to the ones already discovered on 1-Ceres (such as a cluster of at least 9 White Spots: three of them - and one, in particular - which are - is - quite big, while the other six are truly small) and that we discussed in the APODs of May 23 and 24 of this year (see the "Archives" if you want to see and know more).

At this point, we can, once again, only imagine that we are looking at some unusually-looking Craters which, maybe, revealed - as a consequence of the Impact that created them - some Water Ice laying in the Sub-Surface of 1-Ceres. Another possibility, on the other hand, is that the White Spots actually represent the Material that the Celestial Bodies which impacted 1-Ceres were made of.

In the future we hope that we might find out and tell you something more, but for now...that is it.

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 19561) 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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