This 3-color mid-infrared image of the warm surface of Ceres, the largest known asteroid, shows a surprising "football" shape with protrusions. Such structure implies a more varied surface than expected from the round, uniform optical appearance of the asteroid. The image, obtained with the University of Arizona/Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory MIRAC2 (Mid-InfraRed Array Camera) on NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility 3-meter (118-inch) telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, was presented to the American Astronomical Society meeting in Washington, DC on January 9, 1998.
PHOTO CREDIT: Lynne Deutsch, Lindsay Williams, Chris Wargo (Boston University), Amy Lovell (UMass Amherst), Giovanni Fazio and Joseph Hora (SAO), William Hoffmann (U. of Arizona) and Aditya Dayal (JPL).
Last modified: 1997 December 29