Ceres dwarf planet, illustration

Ceres dwarf planet, illustration

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Credit: ESO/L.Cal├žada/NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA/Steve Albers/N. Risinger (skysurvey.org)/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Ceres dwarf planet, illustration. This is the largest member of the asteroid belt, a large group of rocky and icy bodies orbiting in space between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Ceres, with a diameter of 950 kilometres, is classified as a dwarf planet. It accounts for around a third of the mass of the asteroid belt. This artwork is based on detailed observations made by NASA's Dawn spacecraft that entered orbit around Ceres in March 2015. The Dawn spacecraft had earlier visited the asteroid Vesta. Both astronomical bodies are being studied to answer questions about their composition and formation, and the early history of the solar system. Image published in 2016.

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