One of the NASA satellites is about to face a meeting with the Ceres Asteroid. It is the only giant asteroid which is considered to be a dwarf planet within the inner solar system. In the current month, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will come to Ceres and will be positioned 22 miles above the asteroid which will enable the satellite to take the best view. When at the farthest point the Dawn will be posted at 2500 miles within the new elliptical orbit.
Carol Raymond, who is the principal investigator of the Dawn Mission at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the NASA, said that they are eagerly waiting for the spacecraft to take the most exciting pictures of the asteroid from such a closed position. She further added that such high-resolution photos would help them to extract much-refined data which will help them to formulate a different process by amalgamating old data with that of the new data derived. Through such means, they are aiming to find out further information in respect of the dwarf planet.
Marc Rayman who is the mission director and also the chief engineer for Dawn at the JPL said that scientists would love to measure the elements in one of their most loved spots which are referred to as the Occator Crater, from where the salt deposit reflect brightly. It is a favorite spot not only on Ceres but also on Earth and even on all other places which have the impression of Dawn’s discoveries. The experts feel that if they can analyze the entire crater along with the surrounding area, then it would give them more profound insight into the complex geology over there.
It is expected that at its lowest point dawn will be ten times closer to the Ceres. In fact, Raymond feels that it will be the first time that Dawn will be so much closer to any extraterrestrial object after it was launched from the Earth. Raymond further stated the last time the spacecraft came so close to an object was at the time when it took a ride from the Cape Canaveral base over the Atlantic ocean, and that was more than a decade ago.
Apart from taking images, Dawn will also be responsible for studying the chemical composition of the upper crust of the Ceres. It has tracking Ceres within the asteroid belt from the beginning part of the year of 2015. Initially, NASA had sent this mission to keep a track on Vesta which is the second most massive object within the asteroid belt after Ceres.