The image shows the sunlit north pole of Ceres, this is the first high resolution image of the planet.
The image was captured on April 10 from the distance of 21,000 miles away from the dwarf planet. From the last six months the spacecraft was orbiting the planet but it was in the shadow of the planet so couldn’t take any picture.
The spacecraft reached to the planet on March 6, and this makes it the first spacecraft to orbit the dwarf planet Ceres.
In the coming few months Dawn will be approaching towards the planet and settles in lower orbit, and will send additional images of the planet.
Jet Propulsion Laboratory reported, “Dawn has been using its ion propulsion system to maneuver to its first science orbit at Ceres, which it will reach on April 23. The spacecraft will remain at a distance of 8,400 miles (13,500 kilometers) from the dwarf planet until May 9. Afterward, it will make its way to lower orbits.”
The diameter of Ceres is 590 miles and this males it 27 percent of the Earth’s moon.
Ceres was discovered by an Italian astronomer Giuseppe Piazzi in 19 century.
Before orbiting Ceres, Dawn has orbited the asteroid Vesta for around 14 months from 2011 to 2014.
Ceres is the largest member of the Asteroid belt of objects that orbit around sun; the belt is present between Mars and Jupiter.
It was first believed that it is a planet but later it was found that there are similar bodies in the belt and it was degraded to asteroid but later it was upgraded in 2006 to dwarf planet.
Ceres is having icy mantle which is covered by rocky core; the surface is thought to consist of clay, water and other materials.