Almost to Ceres!

Tomorrow, Dawn goes into orbit around 1 Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt, and the first of the dwarf planets to be discovered.  (Fast fact: Ceres was demoted from major planethood long before Pluto was even discovered, so Pluto fans can at least take solace in the fact that it’s not the first object to get demoted after astronomers realized there were a heck of a lot of things like it.)  Meanwhile, here is Dawn’s latest look at Ceres, an animation captured a few days ago.  Notice the double bright spot — the smaller spot appears to fade near the terminator much more quickly than the main bright spot does.  This probably means *something*, but exactly what may not be clear for a while.



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