Astronomy Picture of the Day
July 29, 2015

The 'Bright Spots' of 1-Ceres (CTX Frame)
The 'Bright 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.

Once again, the first Cluster of the so-called "White Spots" (as a matter of fact: the brightest ones which have so far been found on the so-called "Dwarf Planet" 1-Ceres) are well visible in lower left (Sx) corner of this beautiful Contextual Image taken by the NASA - Dawn Spacecraft on June 24, 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 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 19604 - Dawn Survey Orbit Image 35) 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 the Limb and Surface of 1-Ceres), by using an original technique created - and, in time, dramatically improved - by the Lunar Explorer Italia Team.

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