News Release Archive:

News Release 497 of 1048

September 7, 2005 02:30 PM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-2005-27

Largest Asteroid May Be 'Mini Planet' with Water Ice

Technical facts about this news release:

About the Object
Object Name: Ceres, 1 Ceres
Object Description: Minor Body in the Main Asteroid Belt
Distance: The semi-major axis of Ceres' orbit about the Sun is 2.77 Astronomical Units (A.U.) or roughly 257 million miles (414 million kilometers). At the time of the Hubble observations, Ceres was roughly 1.63 A.U. from Earth.
Dimensions: Ceres is has a mean diameter of approximately 590 miles (950 kilometers). The object has a 974.6 km diameter at the equator and a slightly smaller diameter (909.4 km) pole-to-pole.
About the Data
Data Description: This image was created from data from the HST proposal 9748: J. Parker (Southwest Research Institute), L. McFadden (University of Maryland), C. Russell (University of California, Los Angeles), A. Stern (Southwest Research Institute), M. Sykes (University of Arizona), P. Thomas (Cornell University) and E. Young (Southwest Research Institute).
Instrument: ACS/HRC
Exposure Date(s): December 2003 - January 2004
Filters: F330W (U) and F555W (V)
About the Image
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, J. Parker (Southwest Research Institute), P. Thomas (Cornell University), L. McFadden (University of Maryland, College Park), and M. Mutchler and Z. Levay (STScI)
Release Date: September 7, 2005

This image is a composite of many separate exposures made by the ACS HRC instrument on the Hubble Space Telescope using several different filters. Two filters were used to sample broad wavelength ranges. The color results from assigning different hues (colors) to each monochromatic image. In this case, the assigned colors are:
F330W (U) blue
F555W (V) red/orange

Orientation/Scale: Color View of Ceres