Jet Propulsion Laboratory – The Dawn spacecraft, which is orbiting the dwarf planet, Ceres, has been able to capture some images of its sunlit north pole. On April 10, the spacecraft was able to move from the dark side of the dwarf planet towards the sunlit side and capture high resolution pictures of the pole, from a distance of 21,000 miles.
Dawn has been orbiting the icy body since March 6, when it established orbit and became the first spacecraft to orbit the planet. As Dawn moves closer towards the planet, additional better quality pictures will soon be released. Currently, the spacecraft is using its ion propulsion system to maneuver itself towards a series of lower orbits, with the next orbit due to be established on April 23.
It is expected that it will remain in this orbit, at just 8,400 miles, until May 9, after which it will proceed towards lower orbits.