Astronomy News

Juling Crater on Ceres

The Dawn mission is still going strong.  In fact Dawn just came to within 5,200 km / 3,230 mi of the surface of the dwarf planet Ceres (22 Aug 17).  The image below is from about two years ago on 25 Aug 2016 when Dawn was much closer, at an altitude of only 385 km / 240 mi.

This high-resolution image of Juling Crater on Ceres reveals, in exquisite detail, features on the rims and crater floor. The crater is about 1.6 miles (2.5 kilometers) deep and the small mountain, seen left of the center of the crater, is about 0.6 miles (1 kilometers) high. The many features indicative of the flow of material suggest the subsurface is rich in ice. The geological structure of this region, as seen in PIA21753, also generally suggests that ice is involved.

The origin of the small depression seen at the top of the mountain is not fully understood but might have formed as a consequence of a landslide, visible on the northeastern flank.

Juling is named after the Sakai/Orang Asli spirit of the crops from Malaysia.

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft acquired this picture on August 24, 2016. The image was taken during Dawn’s extended mission, from its low altitude mapping orbit at about 240 miles (385 kilometers) above the surface. The center coordinates of this image are 38 degrees south latitude, 165 degrees east longitude.