Planets and Moons  ID: 4475

Permanent Shadows on Ceres

In a new study published in Geophysical Research Letters, lead author Norbert Schorghofer (Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii) and six other scientists identify permanently shadowed regions (PSRs) near the north pole of dwarf planet Ceres, using data gathered by the Dawn spacecraft.

Dawn arrived at Ceres in March of 2015. Since then, its Framing Camera (FC) instrument has photographed the entire surface of Ceres at resolutions down to 62 meters per pixel. Scientists at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, or DLR) have used stereo pairs of FC images to create a global digital terrain map (DTM) of the dwarf planet.

The authors of the PSR study used the Ceres DTM and a technique called raytracing to find points on the surface of Ceres that never receive direct sunlight. These PSRs are expected to be cold enough to accumulate water ice over long time spans, and future spacecraft visiting Ceres are likely to find fresh water ice there.

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Science Paper:
N. Schorghofer et al., The permanently shadowed regions of dwarf planet Ceres, Geophysical Research Letters, 6 July 2016

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Data Used:
Dawn/Framing Camera/Ceres High Sun Global Color Mosaic also referred to as: Dawn Ceres Color Map
A global color mosaic of the surface of dwarf planet Ceres assembled from Dawn Framing Camera images.
German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Dawn/Framing Camera/Ceres Global Digital Elevation Map also referred to as: Dawn Ceres DEM
Ceres global elevation data (DEM) developed from stereo photogrammetry using Dawn Framing Camera images.
German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Dawn/Ceres Permanently Shadowed Regions (North) also referred to as: Ceres PSRs (North)
A map of the permanently shadowed regions near the north pole of dward planet Ceres, derived from the Dawn Ceres DEM.
Norbert Schorghofer (Institute for Astronomy, Univ. of HI), Erwan Mazarico (NASA GSFC), et al.
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

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SVS >> Asteroid
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SVS >> Shadowed Regions
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