Occator imaged by Dawn from LAMO. Fractures are associated with the bright spots and some other areas.
|Diameter||92 kilometres (57 mi)|
|Naming||After Occator, a helper God of Ceres|
Occator // is an impact crater located on Ceres that contains "Spot 5", the brightest of the bright spots observed by the Dawn spacecraft. It was known as "Region A" in ground-based images taken by the W. M. Keck Observatory on Mauna Kea.
On 9 December 2015, scientists reported that the bright spots on Ceres, including those in Occator crater, may be related to a type of salt, particularly a form of brine containing magnesium sulfate hexahydrite (MgSO4·6H2O); the spots were also found to be associated with ammonia-rich clays. More recently, on 29 June 2016, scientists reported the bright spot to be mostly sodium carbonate (Na
3), implying that hydrothermal activity was probably involved in creating the bright spots.
The bright dome in the center of the crater is named Cerealia Facula, and the group of thinner bright spots to the east are named Vinalia Faculae. In July 2018, NASA released a comparison of physical features, including Occator crater, found on Ceres with similar ones present on Earth.
4 May 2015; Dawn
13,600 km (8,500 mi)
- Staff (6 July 2015). "Planetary Names: Crater, craters: Occator on Ceres". USGS. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
- Staff (13 July 2015). "USGS: Ceres nomenclature" (PDF). USGS. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
- Kupper; et al. (22 January 2014). "PIA17831: Water Detection on Ceres". NASA. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
- Landau, Elizabeth (9 December 2015). "New Clues to Ceres' Bright Spots and Origins". NASA. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
- Landau, Elizabeth; Greicius, Tony (29 June 2016). "Recent Hydrothermal Activity May Explain Ceres' Brightest Area". NASA. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
- De Sanctis, M. C.; Raponi, A.; Ammannito, E.; Ciarniello, M.; Toplis, M. J.; McSween, H. Y.; Castillo-Rogez, J. C.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Carrozzo, F. G.; Marchi, S.; Tosi, F.; Zambon, F.; Capaccioni, F.; Capria, M. T.; Fonte, S.; Formisano, M.; Frigeri, A.; Giardino, M.; Longobardo, A.; Magni, G.; Palomba, E.; McFadden, L. A.; Pieters, C. M.; Jaumann, R.; Schenk, P.; Mugnuolo, R.; Raymond, C. A.; Russell, C. T. (2016-06-29). "Bright carbonate deposits as evidence of aqueous alteration on (1) Ceres". Nature. 536: 1–4. Bibcode:2016Natur.536...54D. doi:10.1038/nature18290. PMID 27362221.
- "Cerealia Facula". Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature. USGS Astrogeology Research Program.
- "Vinalia Faculae". Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature. USGS Astrogeology Research Program.
- Landau, Elizabeth; McCartney, Gretchen (24 July 2018). "What Looks Like Ceres on Earth?". NASA. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
- "Occator". planetarynames.
- Landau, Elizabeth; Dyches, Preston (8 June 2015). "Fly Over Ceres in New Video". NASA. Retrieved 9 June 2015.