The 6-mile-wide (10-kilometer-wide) Oxo Crater stands out on the dark landscape of Ceres in this view from NASA's Dawn spacecraft.
Oxo is one of several sites at which ice has been identified by Dawn's visible and infrared mapping spectrometer. The crater is located at mid-latitudes (42 degrees North, 0 degrees East), and the presence of ice there is consistent with the recent mapping of hydrogen by Dawn's GRaND instrument (Gamma Ray and Neutron Detector). Ice is likely to be present at shallow depths in this region, waiting to be exposed via small impacts or landslides, as is believed to be the case for Oxo. Ice is not stable for long periods of time on Ceres' surface, thus its exposure at Oxo must be a relatively recent event.
Dawn took this image on Oct. 25, 2016, during its second extended-mission science orbit (XMO2), from a distance of about 920 miles (1,480 kilometers) above the surface of Ceres. The image resolution is about 460 feet (140 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