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New images of Ceres show its ‘pyramid’ in unprecedented detail

NASA's Dawn spacecraft spotted this tall, conical mountain on Ceres from a distance of 915 miles. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA)
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The dwarf planet Ceres is best known for its mysterious white spots (which could be either ice or salt, and remain TBD) but those aren't its only cool features. The tiny world, which is being studied by NASA's Dawn orbiter, also has a very interesting mountain.

When it was first spotted months ago, the mountain -- protruding four miles up -- was dubbed a "pyramid," much to the delight of conspiracy theorists everywhere.

[NASA orbiter cruises over dwarf planet Ceres, films bright spots and ‘pyramid’]

In the new image, obtained from just 915 miles away and showing the world in its highest-ever resolution, the mountain reveals itself as being quite conical. It also features bright streaks of unknown origin.

In late October, Dawn will begin spiraling into its final, lowest orbit, which will take it just 230 miles above the surface of Ceres. Between now and then, in addition to taking even sharper images of the surface, the orbiter will collect more of the spectral data that can help scientists determine what Ceres' mysterious spots are made of.

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