Returned from the lowest cruising altitude over the dwarf planet yet, these shots of Ceres are incredibly detailed — and could even show us some surprises. As NASA's Dawn spacecraft and its cameras approach Ceres, photos are getting more revealing. A few weeks back, a closer look showed that those mysterious bright spots that we've been seeing were probably made of salt. Now, the cameras have gotten to the lowest point they're going to reach: 386km above the surface.
Researchers have already noted heavy cratering and cracking, which could be impact-marks. But another intriguing suggestion has popped up: earthquake stresses. The closer pictures may also be useful for coming up with more ideas about what's forming the surface of Ceres.
Here's the full set of shots — including one they turned into a 3-D image.