Where Are All The Close-Up Photos Of Ceres?

Illustration for article titled Where Are All The Close-Up Photos Of Ceres?

NASA's Dawn spacecraft arrived in orbit around Ceres on March 6th – so why haven't we seen any close-up photos of the dwarf planet?


Above: Ceres, as photographed by Dawn on March 1 from a distance of 30,000 miles (About 48,000 km) | Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

If you're the kind of person who puts stock in conspiratorial internet chatter, you already know the answer. It's that NASA is hiding evidence of alien life. Congratulations, you've cracked the case.


The lack of photos obviously has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that the Dawn spacecraft is currently orbiting over Ceres' far-side, i.e. the side facing away from the sun, i.e. the side that is, at this very moment, completely shrouded in darkness and otherwise unphotographable. Nope. That's not it at all.

Dawn will get its first clear, close-up view of Ceres' illuminated side come April. Until then, enjoy the alien conspiracies.

Contact the author at rtgonzalez@io9.com.


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I didn't realize that there are alien conspiracy theories about this. Not that it's a surprise. Ceres doesn't seem like a good place for an alien outpost though.