This image, taken by the framing camera aboard NASA's Dawn spacecraft, shows Ceres' enigmatic mountain Ahuna Mons. The rugged plateau of this feature is sparsely cratered, inferring the mountain was formed in the relatively recent past.
The terrain surrounding Ahuna Mons is densely packed with smaller craters, reflecting the greater age of these plains with respect to the mountain. The formation process of Ahuna Mons is still unknown, but a combination of volcanism and tectonism appears to be most likely.
The view is centered at approximately 10 degrees south latitude and 318 degrees east longitude. Dawn took this image on March 20, 2016, in its low-altitude mapping orbit, at a distance of about 240 miles (385 kilometers) above the surface. The image resolution is 120 feet (35 meters) per pixel.
Dawn's mission is managed by JPL for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Dawn is a project of the directorate's Discovery Program, managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. UCLA is responsible for overall Dawn mission science. Orbital ATK, Inc., in Dulles, Virginia, designed and built the spacecraft. The German Aerospace Center, the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, the Italian Space Agency and the Italian National Astrophysical Institute are international partners on the mission team. For a complete list of acknowledgments, see http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov/mission.
For more information about the Dawn mission, visit http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA