The surface of (1) Ceres in visible light as seen by Dawn/VIROPEN ACCESS 

B. Rousseau, M. C. De Sanctis, A. Raponi, M. Ciarniello, E. Ammannito, A. Frigeri, M. Ferrari, S. De Angelis, F. Tosi, S. E. Schröder, C. A. Raymond, C. T. Russell

A&A 642, A74 (2020)
Published online on Astronomy and Astrophysics on 07-10-2020


“We study the surface of Ceres at visible wavelengths, as observed by the Visible and InfraRed mapping spectrometer (VIR) onboard the Dawn spacecraft, and analyze the variations of various spectral parameters across the whole surface. We also focus on several noteworthy areas of the surface of this dwarf planet. We made use of the newly corrected VIR visible data to build global maps of a calibrated radiance factor at 550 nm, with two color composites and three spectral slopes between 400 and 950 nm. We have made these maps available for the community via the Aladin Desktop software. Ceres surface shows diverse spectral behaviors in the visible range. The color composite and the spectral slope between 480 and 800 nm highlight fresh impact craters and young geologic formations of endogenous origin, which appear bluer than the rest of the surface. The steep slope before 465 nm displays very distinct variations and may be a proxy for the absorptions caused by the O−2 -> Fe3+ or the 2Fe3+ -> Fe2++Fe4+ charge transfer, if the latter are found to be responsible for the drop in this spectral range. We notice several similarities between the spectral slopes and the abundance of phyllosilicates detected in the infrared by the VIR, whereas no correlation can be clearly established with carbonate species. The region of the Dantu impact crater presents a peculiar spectral behavior (especially through the color and the spectral slope before 465 nm) suggesting a change in composition or in the surface physical properties that is not observed elsewhere on Ceres. “