Photos: Dwarf Planet Ceres, the Solar System's Largest Asteroid

Ceres Up Close

NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

The dwarf planet Ceres, the largest asteroid in the solar system, is round and may contain more fresh water than the entire Earth. NASA's Dawn spacecraft has been exploring Ceres since 2015. See more views of Ceres in this SPACE.com gallery. HERE:This image of Ceres as seen by NASA's Dawn spacecraft shows how the dwarf planet would appear to human eyes. This image, released Nov. 18, 2016, was created using images from Dawn captured in 2015 that were then color adjusted by scientists at the German Aerospace Center in Berlin.Read the Full Story.

Behold, Occator Crater

NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

The strange bright spots of Occator Crater on the dwarf planet Ceres are unmistakable in this spectacular photo by NASA's Dawn spacecraft taken on Oct. 17, 2016 and released on Nov. 18 as Dawn moves into a higher orbit. Read the Full Story.

Ceres Occator Crater Bright Spot

NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

A close-up view of a strange bright spot in Occator crater on the dwarf planet Ceres, as seen by NASA's Dawn spacecraft. Observations of from ground-based telescopes suggest the spots undergo daily changes.

Occator Crater with Ceres' Bright Spots

NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA/PSI

Occator Crater, stretching 57 miles (92 kilometers) across and delving 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) deep, is home to the mysterious brightest area on dwarf planet Ceres. Image released March 22, 2016.

Haulani Crater in Enhanced Color

NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

NASA's Dawn spacecraft took this enhanced-color view Haulani Crater on the dwarf planet Ceres. Blue areas such as those seen in this image have been associated with young features on Ceres. Image released April 19, 2016.

Ceres' Haulani Crater Mosaic

NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA/PSI

Ceres’ 21-mile-wide (34 kilometers) Haulani Crater is shown in this mosaic of views captured by NASA's Dawn spacecraft from an altitude of 240 miles (385 km). Image released April 19, 2016.

Oxo Crater on Ceres

NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA/PSI

NASA's Dawn spacecraft captured this view of Ceres’ 6-mile-wide (10 kilometers) Oxo Crater from an altitude of 240 miles (385 km). The crater possesses an unusually large "slump" in its crater rim. Image released April 19, 2016.

Ceres Neutron Counts

NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/ASI/INAF

A portion of the northern hemisphere of dwarf planet Ceres appears in this map, which includes neutron counting data acquired by the gamma ray and neutron detector (GRaND) instrument aboard NASA's Dawn spacecraft. Blue indicates lowest neutron count, and, at the other end of the scale, red indicates the highest neutron count. Image released March 22, 2016.

Enhanced Color Global Map of Ceres

NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

The surface of Ceres appears in this global map made with enhanced color, including infrared wavelengths outside human visual range. Image released March 22, 2016.

Ceres LAMO Coverage Map

NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA/PSI

A still from an animated video shows Dawn mission's imaging coverage of dwarf planet Ceres during its low-altitude mapping orbit, 240 miles (385 kilometers) above the surface. Image released March 22, 2016.

Ceres' Haulani Crater

NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/ASI/INAF

NASA's Dawn spacecraft used its visible and infrared mapping spectrometer (VIR) observed Ceres' Haulani Crater (21 miles, 34 kilometers wide). Image released March 22, 2016.

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