NASA's Dawn Spacecraft Captures Most Detailed Photos of Ceres Ever Taken
The Dawn mission has been discovering more and more about Ceres in recent months, and now the spacecraft has taken the sharpest images ever taken of the mysterious dwarf planet.
"As we slowly approach the stage, our eyes transfixed on Ceres and her planetary dance, we find she has beguiled us but left us none the wiser," said Chris Russell, principal investigator of the Dawn mission. "We expected to be surprised; we did not expect to be this puzzled."
The most mysterious feature of Ceres is by far its reflective white spots, which are of unknown origin to this day. "We can confirm that it is something on Ceres that reflects more sunlight, but what that is remains a mystery," Dawn mission director and chief engineer Marc Rayman told Space.com.
Dawn is expected to enter Ceres's orbit on March 6. NASA's research team will study the nature and composition of the dwarf planet, and hopefully shed some light on those elusive white spots in the coming months.