Fractured surface in Occator Crater on Ceres


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fractures in Occator Crater

Cool image time! Dawn, now in its final very close orbit above the surface of Ceres, has released some new images. The image on the right, cropped to post here, was taken from a distance of only 22 miles, and shows a fracture network and some very pronounced cliffs on the wall of Occator Crater. The sunlight is coming from the right. You can also see a bright spot on an east-facing slope with what looks like an apron of lighter avalanche material below it. The flat smooth surface of the floor of this same canyon is likely because it is filled with dust, which has ponded there.

These fractures suggest that the wall of the crater is undergoing a slow motion avalanche, with sections separating off and slowly sagging into the crater below, creating the fractures.

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