Dawn has sent the new images after getting into the sunlit area of the dwarf planet; it has spent more than a month on the dark side of the planet and hence couldn’t capture any images.
The image of the bright spot was sent by Dawn on April 14 and 15; the image was captured from a distance of 14,000 miles above the surface of Ceres.
Dawn has earlier sent an image on April 10, which is showing the north pole of the planet, but the spots were not clearly visible in it, this image was taken from 21,000 miles away from the surface.
The recent image highlights the bright spot against the grey surface of the surrounding. Scientists don’t know the composition and source of the spots. The other features which can be seen in the image are large number of craters.
On April 23, Dawn will enter into its first science orbit, and will spend three weeks in the orbit. Dawn will be approximately 8,400 miles from the surface. Dawn is expected to capture 2,500 images from the first science orbit.
On May 9, Dawn will begin to move to lower orbits to take high resolution images of the planet.
To spin down to lower orbits, Dawn will use ion propulsion system.
Dawn was launched on Sept. 27, 2007 from Cape Canaveral.
Before orbiting Ceres, Dawn has orbited the second largest asteroid in the asteroid belt, Vesta. It arrived at Vesta on July 16, 2011, and the spacecraft has spent 14 months exploring Vesta, it has captured images and collected data of the asteroid.
It has departed to Ceres, its second target on Sept 5, 2012.
On March 6, 2015 Dawn was captured by the gravity of Ceres.
Dawn is the first spacecraft to orbit dwarf planet and also the first spacecraft to orbit two targets.