This image of Ceres, taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft, shows a giant, ancient impact crater with smaller craters in its interior. The large crater shows partial terracing on its southeast rim, whereas the north part is almost fully degraded. Terraces -- generally level areas separated from lower areas by steep slopes -- are common features in large impact craters. The crater's floor is partly covered by smooth material.
The smaller crater in the south (lower left) is the freshest impact seen here. The distinct rim of the young crater, along with impact ejecta, covers part of the big crater's floor.
The image was taken on Oct. 3, 2015, from an altitude of 915 miles (1,470 kilometers), and has a resolution of 450 feet (140 meters) per pixel. The image is located at 53 degrees south latitude, 1 degrees east longitude.
The Dawn mission to Vesta and Ceres is managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington D.C. UCLA is responsible for overall Dawn mission science.
The Dawn framing cameras have been developed and built under the leadership of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany, with significant contributions by DLR German Aerospace Center, Institute of Planetary Research, Berlin, and in coordination with the Institute of Computer and Communication Network Engineering, Braunschweig. The framing camera project is funded by the Max Planck Society, DLR, and NASA/JPL.
More information about Dawn is online at http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA