Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: Dawn

  • Ceres may have formed in the outer solar system

    Laurel KornfeldApril 3rd, 2022

    Ceres is located in the asteroid belt, but its makeup and large water content suggest it formed in the outer solar system where other dwarf planets orbit.

  • Ceres’ surface found to contain building blocks for life

    Laurel KornfeldDecember 14th, 2018

    The surface of the dwarf planet Ceres holds high levels of organic material, according to a new study of images returned by NASA's Dawn spacecraft. This provides a tantalizing glimpse into the possibility of life throughout our solar system.

  • A spaceflight era closes with end of Dawn and Kepler missions

    Laurel KornfeldNovember 3rd, 2018

    The Kepler and Dawn spacecraft both ran out of fuel, marking the end of an era that transformed our understanding of both our solar system and others.

  • Dawn’s voyage of discovery comes to a close

    Jason RhianNovember 1st, 2018

    After 11 years and 4.3 billion miles, NASA's Dawn mission has come to an end. How has the spacecraft revolutionized our understanding of the solar system and space hardware?

  • Study finds Ceres has history of cryovolcanism

    Laurel KornfeldSeptember 18th, 2018

    A study of surface features on Ceres as revealed by NASA's Dawn spacecraft indicates the dwarf planet experienced cryovolcanism in its past, with individual ice volcanoes having spewed large amounts of material onto the dwarf planet's surface.

  • Dawn mission approaches end as spacecraft runs out of fuel

    Laurel KornfeldSeptember 10th, 2018

    NASA's Dawn mission, after 11 years is drawing to a close, but during the years it has explored worlds and forever altered our understanding of the solar system.

  • Dawn spacecraft captures new images of Ceres’ Occator Crater

    Jason RhianJuly 4th, 2018

    NASA's Dawn spacecraft has entered into its final planned orbital position from which it will study the dwarf planet Ceres, the lowest the probe has descended to the tiny world since it arrived in orbit on March 6, 2015.

  • Dawn will enter lowest ever orbit around Ceres

    Laurel KornfeldJune 2nd, 2018

    NASA's Dawn spacecraft has begun maneuvers that should bring it to its lowest and final orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres.

  • Dawn observations indicate Ceres is geologically active

    Laurel KornfeldMarch 17th, 2018

    NASA's Dawn spacecraft, which has been orbiting Ceres for three years, has observed changes on the dwarf planet's surface indicating it is a dynamic, geologically active world. Two separate studies published in the journal Science Advances discuss these changes with one centering on the changing amounts of water ice and the other discussing the formation and distribution of carbonates.

  • Bright spots on Ceres indicate geologic activity

    Jim SharkeyDecember 16th, 2017

    Since NASA's Dawn spacecraft arrived at Ceres in March 2015, both scientists and the general public have been able to see the hundreds of bright spots on the dwarf planet's surface. Dawn mission scientists reported their most recent research about these bright areas at the American Geophysical Union meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. The team's findings indicate that Ceres is an active, evolving world.

  • Ancient interior activity likely formed features on Ceres’ surface

    Laurel KornfeldNovember 15th, 2017

    A new analysis of surface features on Ceres sent back by NASA's Dawn spacecraft indicates that at least some of those features were created by the ancient movement of materials in the dwarf planet's interior.

  • NASA gives Dawn mission second extension

    Laurel KornfeldOctober 22nd, 2017

    NASA's Dawn spacecraft, which has been orbiting Ceres since March 2015, has just been given a second extension, which will be used to bring the probe into the closest orbit yet around the dwarf planet.

  • NASA’s Dawn spacecraft experiences reaction wheel malfunction

    Jim SharkeyApril 28th, 2017

    During preparations for observing Ceres' Occator Crater, NASA's Dawn spacecraft's remaining reaction wheels stopped functioning. The probe controls its orientation in space by changing the speed these gyroscope-like devices spin.

  • Solar activity controls Ceres’ tenuous atmosphere

    Laurel KornfeldApril 7th, 2017

    A new study by scientists working on NASA's Dawn mission indicates Ceres' atmosphere is controlled by solar activity rather than by its relative closeness to the Sun. In observations conducted since the 1990s, the dwarf planet's tenuous atmosphere has mysteriously appeared, disappeared, and reappeared at various times.

  • Ceres’ bright spots significantly younger than crater they inhabit

    Laurel KornfeldMarch 9th, 2017

    Researchers who studied images of Ceres' Occator Crater captured by the Dawn spacecraft's scientific imaging system have determined that its bright spots, composed largely of carbonate salts, are significantly younger than the crater in which they sit.