There has been a 976 kilometers wide main belt asteroid planet 1 Ceres has been noticed by the approaching Dawn Spacecraft from a distance of 1.2 million kilometers on 1st December 2014. Dawn initiates its approach phase towards Ceres on 26th of this month and will arrive at ceres on the March 2015.
There are test images captured and at the moment, 1 Ceres only appears at 9 pixels which is perfect for a far-perfect camera calibration.
1 Ceres is most largest of all the members of the main asteroid belt between the red planet Mars and the Gas Giant Jupiter. It orbits the sun at an average distance of 257 million miles once every four years and 218 days.
The asteroid 1 Ceres seems to posses a density of 2.09 grams per cm cube, which suggests that the composition of the protoplanet is akin in ratios to KBOs / Dwarf planets Eris and Pluto.
There have been suggestions that 1 Ceres did actually come into existance in the Kuiper Belt and was then ejected inwards and sent into an orbit within the asteroid belt by Jupiter.
A new discovery made by the Hubble Space Telescope informs minor plume activity when 1 Ceres is at perihelion or the closest point to the sun, which is 237.5 million miles with plume activity coming up with two large impact craters, signifying that two new impacts has unveiled ice rich materials.
The surface gravity of Ceres 1 is around 1/34th of that of Earth, which is roughly 0.029.