25 August 2015 News

NASA’s Dawn gets up close and personal with Ceres: stunning conical mountain revealed in detail

People who write about dwarf planet Ceres rarely fail to mention about how mysterious it is. But NASA’s Dawn mission is changing that, somewhat.

Ceres is the largest object in the asteroid belt, which immediately brings home its attraction.

And the mission to Ceres has already been plenty interesting.

Marc Rayman, Dawn chief engineer and mission director, has written for us about the importance of the ion propulsion engine to the Dawn mission.

Now NASA has published some truly spectacular close-ups of Ceres that have come our way via Dawn.

Of particular interest is the dramatic, conical mountain on Ceres that Dawn snapped. This mountain is just a little bit shorter than Mt. Everest.

What particularly makes the mountain stand out is just how small Ceres truly is – just 952 km across.

Only time will tell if the mountain will get an amazing name like some of the formations on Pluto and Charon did.

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