It was only a matter of time before someone made a short video with Ceres as the star.
The dwarf planet, which has been the focus of the NASA’s Dawn spacecraft of late, lies between Mars and Jupiter. With an average diameter of 590 miles, there has been plenty for Dawn to study since arriving in March 2013.
NASA has taken full of advantage of the fact this is the first mission to achieve orbit around a dwarf planet – releasing scores of images of Ceres and now a nearly four minute animation that gets up close and personal.
The movie, using images from Dawn’s high-altitude mapping orbit from August to October 2015, takes you on a virtual tour of Ceres. It showcases scores of mind-blowing craters including the Haulani Crater (21 miles) Yalode Crater (162 miles) Dantu Crater (78 miles) as well as the tall, conical mountain Ahuna Mons.
Features on Ceres are named for earthly agricultural spirits, deities and festivals.
The colors also serve to highlight subtle differences in the planet’s appearance. The blues, for example, are believed to contain younger, fresher material, including flows, pits and cracks.
“The simulated overflight shows the wide range of crater shapes that we have encountered on Ceres. The viewer can observe the sheer walls of the crater Occator, and also Dantu and Yalode, where the craters are a lot flatter,” Ralf Jaumann, a Dawn mission scientist at the German Aerospace Center