NASA has released a new image from the DAWN Spacecraft orbiting Ceres, depicting the southern hemisphere of the dwarf planet.
It's a gorgeous image, and it really shows off how pitted and scarred the object is.
This part of Ceres, near the south pole, has such long shadows because, from the perspective of this location, the sun is near the horizon. At the time this image was taken, the sun was 4 degrees north of the equator. If you were standing this close to Ceres' south pole, the sun would never get high in the sky during the course of a nine-hour Cerean day.
The spacecraft took this image in its low-altitude mapping orbit from an approximate distance of 386km (385 kilometers) from Ceres.
[Jet Propulsion Agency] Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA