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Asymmetric Craters on the Dwarf Planet Ceres—Results of Second Extended Mission Data Analysis

1
Institute of Planetary Research, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, 12489 Berlin, Germany
2
Institute of Geological Sciences, Planetary Sciences and Remote Sensing, Freie Universität Berlin, 12249 Berlin, Germany
3
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA
4
Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1567, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Geosciences 2019, 9(11), 475; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9110475
Received: 13 August 2019 / Revised: 2 November 2019 / Accepted: 4 November 2019 / Published: 12 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interiors of Icy Ocean Worlds)
After almost three years of successful operation on Ceres, the Dawn spacecraft entered its last orbits around the dwarf planet and obtained a set of high-resolution images of 3 to 5 m/pixel. These images reveal a variety of morphologic features, including a set of asymmetric crater morphologies as observed earlier in the mission on the asteroid Vesta. We identified 269 craters, which are located between 60° N to 60° S latitude and 197° E to 265° E longitude, and investigated their morphological characteristics using a digital terrain model (DTM). These craters range in diameter from 0.30 to 4.2 km, and exhibit a sharp crater rim on the uphill side and a smooth one on the downhill side. We found that all asymmetric craters are formed on a sloping surface with the majority appearing at slope angles between 5 and 20 degrees. This implies that, as observed on Vesta, the topography is the main cause for these asymmetries. View Full-Text
Keywords: crater formation on small bodies; cratering processes; influence of slopes; asteroids; dwarf planets; asymmetrical cratering; XM2 crater formation on small bodies; cratering processes; influence of slopes; asteroids; dwarf planets; asymmetrical cratering; XM2
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Krohn, K.; Jaumann, R.; Wickhusen, K.; Otto, K.A.; Kersten, E.; Stephan, K.; Wagner, R.J.; Raymond, C.A.; Russell, C.T. Asymmetric Craters on the Dwarf Planet Ceres—Results of Second Extended Mission Data Analysis. Geosciences 2019, 9, 475.

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