Photos: The Changing Bright Spots of Dwarf Planet Ceres

Ceres' Bright Spots Mosaic


Mosaic showing 130 bright spots on Ceres. Top left: A haze appears above Occator Crater when the sun hits it, suggesting the crater contains subsurface water ice. Top right: A kind of haze also appears above Oxo Crater, the second-brightest structure on Ceres. Bottom: A typical crater without water.

Bright Spots and Pyramid Mountain on Ceres


This image of the dwarf planet Ceres, taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft, features a large, steep-sided mountain and several intriguing bright spots.

Ceres' Bright Spots in Occator Crater


The brightest mystery spots on the dwarf planet Ceres lie in Occator Crater, seen here in an image captured by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft.

Bright Spots on Ceres: May 16, 2015


The strange bright white spots on the dwarf planet Ceres are seen in this best view yet from NASA's Dawn spacecraft, which captured this image on May 16, 2015.

New Image of Ceres' Mysterious Bright Spots


NASA's Dawn spacecraft captured this image of the dwarf planet Ceres and its mysterious bright spots on May 4, 2015, from a distance of 8,400 miles (13,500 kilometers).

Bright Spots on Ceres


The strange bright spots on Ceres are easily visible here in these images captured by the visible and infrared mapping spectrometer on NASA's Dawn spacecraft, which has been orbiting the dwarf planet in the asteroid belt since March.

Ceres' Bright Spot Has Dimmer Companion


The brightest spot on Ceres possesses a dimmer companion, which apparently lies in the same basin.

Ceres' Bright Spot Has a Companion


This image of Ceres, taken by NASA's Dawn probe on Feb. 19, 2015, from a distance of about 29,000 miles (46,000 kilometers), shows two mysterious bright spots on the dwarf planet's surface.

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: Staff
News and editorial team is the premier source of space exploration, innovation and astronomy news, chronicling (and celebrating) humanity's ongoing expansion across the final frontier. Originally founded in 1999, is, and always has been, the passion of writers and editors who are space fans and also trained journalists. Our current news team consists of Editor-in-Chief Tariq Malik; Editor Hanneke Weitering, Senior Space Writer Mike Wall; Senior Writer Meghan Bartels; Senior Writer Chelsea Gohd, Senior Writer Tereza Pultarova and Staff Writer Alexander Cox, focusing on e-commerce. Senior Producer Steve Spaleta oversees our space videos, with Diana Whitcroft as our Social Media Editor.