This image captures the day-night boundary, or terminator, in the north polar region of Ceres. The north pole itself, which lies just slightly left of center in this view, is barely sunlit, even though the local time at its location is 11:06 a.m.
The north polar region is densely cratered, and some crater floors remain in permanent shadow. Some of those permanently shadowed craters contain bright deposits, as described in a 2016 Nature Astronomy study by scientists on NASA's Dawn mission. The best example of these bright deposits was found by Dawn in an unnamed and geologically young, 4-mile- (6-kilometer-) wide crater located at 86.2 degrees north latitude, 80.0 degrees east longitude (the small, sharply defined crater just right of center).
This picture was obtained by the Dawn spacecraft on October 17, 2016, from an altitude of about 923 miles (1,486 kilometers).
The image is located at 89 degrees north latitude, 86 degrees east longitude.
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 mission participants, 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