NASA Photo Captures Clearest Image Yet Of Ceres’ Mysterious Bright Spots

A stunning new image released by NASA Wednesday gives the closest and clearest look yet at mysterious bright spots speckling a crater on the dwarf planet Ceres.

The image of the Occator crater was taken at an altitude of 915 miles, according to NASA. It’s three times better resolution than the images taken by the Dawn spacecraft in June from 2,700 miles above the surface.

“Dawn has transformed what was so recently a few bright dots into a complex and beautiful, gleaming landscape,” Marc Rayman, Dawn’s chief engineer and mission director, said of the revealing picture.

In the next two months, the engineers aboard the Dawn spacecraft will attempt to map the entire planet six times. By doing this at slightly different angles, scientists will be able to construct more thorough 3D maps, according to NASA.

Scientists are still not sure what could be causing the mysterious bright spots, and have said they could be anything from salt deposits to ice geysers, or volcanos.

“Soon, the scientific analysis will reveal the geological and chemical nature of this mysterious and mesmerizing extraterrestrial scenery,” Rayman said.

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