Striking images of dwarf planet Ceres released by NASA. Jim Drury reports.
Ceres is the closest so-called dwarf planet to the Sun, and seen here in unprecedented detail. Footage was compiled from a series of images taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft almost 5,000 kilometres away. Lying between Jupiter and Mars, Ceres is the largest obstacle in the asteroid belt. 950 kilometres in diameter, it's about eight times smaller than Earth. It's the only dwarf planet in the inner solar system, a planetary mass object that's neither a planet nor natural satellite. Dawn began its second mapping orbit on June 3 and will observe Ceres for some weeks. Dawn is part of the Discovery Program, managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center.