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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, 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, found on Ceres with similar ones present on Earth.
4 May 2015; Dawn
13,600 km (8,500 mi)
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- "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.
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- Chang, Kenneth (1 November 2018). "NASA's Dawn Mission to the Asteroid Belt Says Good Night - Launched in 2007, the spacecraft discovered bright spots on Ceres and forbidding terrain on Vesta". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
- Landau, Elizabeth; Dyches, Preston (8 June 2015). "Fly Over Ceres in New Video". NASA. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
- "USGS: Ceres nomenclature, map of named features on Ceres" (PDF). USGS. 13 July 2015. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
- Nemiroff, R.; Bonnell, J., eds. (16 September 2015). "Bright Spots Resolved on Occator Crater on Ceres". Astronomy Picture of the Day. NASA.
- Nemiroff, R.; Bonnell, J., eds. (11 December 2015). "The Brightest Spot on Ceres". Astronomy Picture of the Day. NASA.