New looks at Occator Crater from the Dawn spacecraft!

Dawn has gotten through its thruster issues and is plugging away at the science.  Mission controllers are currently planning to conduct six full mapping cycles over the dwarf planet so that they can produce accurate 3D maps of Ceres, and they’re off to a fantastic start.  But of course what most folks are waiting to know is this:

What the heck are those spots???

And honestly, they still don’t know.  But they do have the best images yet of them, and they’re starting to look somewhat resolved.  And the 3D imagery shows that the really bright spot in the center of the crater is not the peak of a mountain; it’s actually in more of a dip.  It’s quite a puzzle, but we’re getting closer to the point where that question might finally get answered.  Here’s the latest overhead look, and it’s breathtaking (click for full res):



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