NASA's Dawn Mission has dipped closer to Ceres, just 240 miles above the surface, and captured detailed images of the dwarf planet's mysterious bright spots.

Presented at the annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Texas on March 22, the detailed images show a closer look on Occator Crater, which measures about 2.5 miles deep and 57 miles across.

The new photos finally gave scientists back on Earth a closer look at the dwarf planet's surface, which shows distinctive bright spots. They unveil a dome covered with the bright material.

"Before Dawn began its intensive observations of Ceres last year, Occator Crater looked to be one large bright area. Now, with the latest close views, we can see complex features that provide new mysteries to investigate," said Ralf Jaumann, a co-investigator of the Dawn Mission.

Aside from the detailed and closer photo showing details of the mysterious spots, the scientists released an enhanced color map of Ceres' surface. The map shows highlights of the various surface materials found on the planet, which will shed light on their relationship to surface morphology.

The dwarf planet does not have big impact craters, but the number of smaller craters were close to what scientists have predicted. The scientists also found that material alterations on the surface of Ceres show that there might be a layer below the surface containing volatiles and ice.

Dawn scientists were also able to develop a map of the planet, giving them the opportunity to be able to look at bright spots and changes in color. This map is a valuable tool for the scientists to learn more about the evolution of the dwarf planet, found between Jupiter and Mars.

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center manages the Dawn Mission, which aims to explore the dwarf planet Ceres. It has achieved a lot in space travel and had orbited the giant protoplanet Vesta in 2011 to 2012.

The researchers believe that, if they can compare Ceres and Vesta, they will uncover a lot of evidence about the early solar system. They are now working on determining the processes that created the unique dwarf planet.

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