NASA Releases Animation of Dawn's Ceres Flyover

Friday, 29 January 2016 - 2:14PM
Space
Astronomy
Space Imagery
Friday, 29 January 2016 - 2:14PM
NASA Releases Animation of Dawn's Ceres Flyover
Last March, NASA's Dawn spacecraft entered Ceres' orbit, becoming the first mission to study the dwarf planet up close. Now, NASA has released an animation of a Ceres flyby, so we can see exactly what it would be like to see through the eyes of the Dawn spacecraft.


The video was created by the mission's camera team at Germany's national aeronautics and space research center (DLR) from images taken by Dawn's Framing Camera instrument. It highlights many features that Ceres has become known for since NASA began its historic observation, including huge craters, mountains, and, of course, those notorious white spots, which were recently found to contain mostly salt deposits and water ice. 

Ceres Flyover

The only part of the video that is not exactly true-to-life is the color scheme; NASA placed a false-color filter that was nevertheless informative, as it essentially acts as an age-map. The bluer patches in the video represent the areas that NASA believes are younger, while the greyish areas are older parts of the surface. 

Dawn reached its fourth and final orbit in December, at a distance of only 375 km from the surface. It will take data for three months at this distance, and then when the mission is over, the spacecraft is expected to become a permanent satellite of Ceres, with a stable and perpetual orbit.
Science
NASA
Space
Astronomy
Space Imagery

Load Comments