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Fly Over an Asteroid

NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA
NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA
Last year, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft spent almost three months mapping asteroid Ceres from an altitude of 900 miles. The mission team at the German Aerospace Center created a video showing all the details of the asteroid’s features, like the crater Occator, where the bright spots are located (scientists are now fairly certain those are created by a type of salt from a long-evaporated subsurface water source). Dawn has since gone down into a lower orbit around Ceres, just 240 miles from the surface.

Heather Goss is the Departments Editor at Air & Space.

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asteroid, Ceres, Dawn