June 13, 2018 — Dawn Returning Pictures and Other Data in Lowest Orbit
Dawn completed ion thrusting on schedule on June 6, reaching its final orbit. The spacecraft's elliptical path now takes it around Ceres once every 27 hours, ranging in altitude from about 22 miles (35 kilometers) to 2,500 miles (4,000 kilometers). The explorer's lowest altitude before last week was 240 miles (385 kilometers).
Dawn began observing Ceres on schedule on June 9. Exquisite pictures showing greater detail than ever before are posted in the image gallery. (If you don't look, you'll miss out on stunning new views of Ceres.) The March and April Dawn Journals describe some of the challenges of photographing the dwarf planet when traveling at low altitude and high speed.
The May Dawn Journal summarizes some of the accomplishments last month and begins looking ahead to the end of this extraordinary mission.