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Cool image time! The Dawn science team today released some new images taken by the spacecraft in its final tight orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres. The image on the right is a cropped section of the full image. It shows some interesting details of part of one of the two bright spots in Occator Crater, dubbed Vinalia Facula, and was taken from a distance of 36 miles.
Other images show small bright spots in another small crater, fractures and interesting patterns in the floor of Occator crater, a dome in Occator Crater suggestive of underground processes pushing up, and other close-ups of its crater walls.
While all of these features are reminiscent of geology on Earth, none are really the same. Ceres’ light gravity and harsh environment, plus its history in the asteroid belt, requires alien processes that only hint at similarities to what we see on Earth.