The iconic bright spots of Occator Crater are seen up close in this image of Ceres. This image from NASA's Dawn spacecraft reveals a central dome with linear features on and around it. Scientists believe the bright material could be a kind of salt. The area including the dome is the brightest feature on Ceres.
NASA's Dawn spacecraft took this image on March 26, 2016, from 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