As NASA'sspacecraft gets closer to the dwarf planet in the asteroid belt, this bizarre body seems to yield more questions than answers.
In its latest video, posted Thursday, NASA shows us that in addition to the intriguingin a large crater on Ceres, there are also bright streaks running down the sides of a rising higher than Alaska's 20,000-foot (6,100 meter) Mt. McKinley.
Marc Rayman, Dawn mission director, shows us the bright spots at the center and around one edge of a crater that's 60 miles across and 2 miles deep at the highest level of detail and context we've seen so far, but without providing any new insights as to which of theabout what's causing them might be closest to right.
And then there's that conical, almost pyramid-looking mountain that rises 4 miles high and is oddly dark on one side while the other side glows with bright streaks that seem similar in their effect to what's causing the other bright spots.
"What does this structure tell us about how this world works?" Rayman says.
Dude, if you don't know, then we might as well assume it's the headlight of an idling spaceship until science proves otherwise. Fortunately, Dawn will continue to descend for a closer look until its closest approach toward the end of this year.
Watch the video below for yourself. Dawn's images of Ceres have been animated and exaggerated a bit, and also put into 3D toward the end.