Dawn | Flyover Dwarf Planet Ceres

The spacecraft Dawn is orbiting dwarf planet Ceres in the Low Altitude Mapping Orbit LAMO of about 240 miles (385 km). From August to October 2015, Dawn was in the High Altitude Mapping Orbit HAMO of 900 miles (1450 km). Images from that orbit captured many interesting features of Ceres. The German Aerospace Center DLR compiled many of these images into a simulated flyover of them. Expect another flyover video at a later date using images from the much closer LAMO.


Several previous posts about the Dawn mission are available at this link.

Feature Names

Breakfast cereal is named after Ceres. The dwarf planet was named for the Roman goddess of agriculture following its discovery on 1 January 1801 by Giuseppe Piazzi. Ceres was a mere speck of light until the Hubble Space Telescope gave us an improved view in this color image released in 2005. Dawn is now capturing close-up images of great detail. Imagine a soccer ball about 3 inches (7.5 cm) from your face. That is the scale of how close Dawn is to Ceres.

The prominent features on Ceres are named after agricultural deities for craters and festivals for everything else. The following nomenclature is from the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature of the USGS. It is a long table of 81 rows. I discovered several html table generator sites which allow data to be quickly entered. They generate html which can be copy/pasted into the blog. It was a cool and geeky feature. I got carried away. I didn’t realize there were so many of them.

Abellio Gaul god of the apple tree
Achita Nigerian god of agriculture
Ahuna Mons Sumi tribe (NE India) post-harvest festival
Annona Roman goddess of crops and of the harvest
Anura Arawakan (Guyana) spirit of the tobacco seeds
Asari Syrian god of agriculture
Attis Greek/Phrygian god of vegetation and of fertility
Azacca Haitian god of agriculture
Belun Belarus god of the fields
Besua Egyptian grain god
Bonsu Bateg/Batek (Malaysia) god who watches over fruits and flowers
Chaminuka Shona (Zimbabwe) spirit who provides rains in times of droughts
Coniraya Inca god of agricultural terracing and irrigation.
Cozobi Zapotec (S. Mexico) god of maize and of abundant food.
Dada Nigerian god of vegetables.
Dalien Tholus Bon Dalien; Khmer (Cambodia) festival at the end of the rice harvest
Dantu Ghanan god associated with the planting of the corn.
Darzamat Darzamate, Latvian spirit, Mother of the garden
Datan Polish god of the tilling of the soil.
Doliku Dahomey (Benin) god of the fields.
Erntedank Planum Erntedanktag/Erntedankfest; Harvest festival in Germany, Austria and Switzerland
Ernutet Egyptian cobra-headed goddess of the harvest.
Ezinu Sumerian goddess of the grain.
Fejokoo Nigerian god who supplied the yams.
Fluusa Oscan (S. Italy) goddess of flowers, counterpart of Roman goddess Flora
Gaue Germanic goddess to whom offerings are made in harvesting the rye.
Gerber Catena Udmurt (Volga-Ural, Russia) agricultural festival after the spring sowing
Geshtin Sumerian/Babylonian goddess of the vine.
Ghanan Mayan god of maize.
Hamori Japanese god, protector of tree leaves.
Haulani Hau-lani; Hawaiian plant goddess.
Heneb Egyptian god of grain, produce, and vineyards.
Homshuk Popoluca (S. Mexico) spirit of corn (maize).
Ikapati Philippine goddess of the cultivated lands.
Inamahari Siouan (SC, USA) male and female deities invoked after spring sowing
Insitor Roman agricultural deity in charge of the sowing.
Jaja Abkhazian (Transcaucasia) harvest goddess.
Jarimba Arunta/Aranda (Australia) god of flowers and fruit.
Jarovit Slavic god of fertility and harvest
Juling Sakai/Orang Asli (Malaysia) spirit of the crops.
Kaikara Konjo and Banyoro/Nyoro (Uganda) goddess of harvest.
Kait Hattic goddess of grain (Asia Minor).
Kerwan Hopi spirit of the sprouting maize (Arizona, SW USA).
Kirnis Lithuanian spirit, guardian of cherry trees.
Kondos Finnish agricultural deity.
Kumitoga Polynesian goddess of plant life.
Kupalo Russian god of vegetation and of the harvest.
Liber Roman god of agriculture.
Liberalia Mons Ancient Roman festival to honor Liber and Libera, deities of the vine
Lono Hawaiian god of agriculture.
Meanderi Ngaing (New Guinea) goddess of taro, sugar cane, and other foods.
Messor Roman god of harvesting, of cutting of the grain.
Mondamin Ojibwe /Chippewa corn (maize) god (L Superior area, Canada and USA).
Nawish Acoma (New Mexico, SW USA) guardian of the field.
Niman Rupes Hopi (SW USA) ritual ending the katsina (spiritual beings) season
Ninsar Sumerian goddess of plants and vegetation.
Occator Roman agricultural deity of the harrowing.
Oltagon Philippine agricultural goddess.
Omonga Tomori/Mori (Indonesian) rice spirit who dwells in the Moon.
Oxo God of agriculture in Afro-Brazilian beliefs of Yoruba derivation.
Piuku Barama River Caribs (Guyana) god of the manioc.
Rao Polynesian god of turmeric.
Rongo Maori (New Zealand) god of agriculture, of cultivated foods.
Roskva Teutonic goddess who symbolizes the ripe fields of harvest.
Samhain Catena Gaelic festival at the end of the harvest season in Ireland and Scotland
Sekhet Egyptian name of Isis as goddess of cultivated lands and fields.
Shakaema Jivaro (Ecuador and Peru) god of planting and cultivation of bananas
Sintana Columbian deity who produced the fertile black earth for sowing.
Tafakula Tongan (Polynesia) goddess invoked for favorable seasons for the crops.
Tahu Maori (New Zealand) personification of all food.
Takel Malaysian goddess in charge of the tuber harvest.
Tibong Land Dayaks Indonesian spirit who devours and depletes the rice
Toharu Pawnee (Nebraska, Central USA) god of food and vegetation.
Tupo Polynesian god of turmeric.
Urvara Indian and Iranian deity of plants and fields.
Victa Roman goddess of food and nourishment.
Vinotonus Celtic Briton god of vines.
Wangala Tholus Garo people (NE India, and Bangladesh) 3-day festival at end of the year
Yalode Dahomey goddess worshipped by women at the harvest rites.
Ysolo Mons Albanian festival marking the first day of the eggplant harvest.
Zadeni Ancient Georgian god of bountiful harvest.
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11 thoughts on “Dawn | Flyover Dwarf Planet Ceres

  1. I see they didn’t include any of the Liberian agricultural deities. Maybe the farm spirits don’t rise to the level of gods. It’s an interesting thought. I need to explore that a bit.

    In the meantime, here’s a photo of a little dude who spent his life in Liberia keeping watch over a rice field. If I ever plant rice, he’s going back to work.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Jim,
    are you enjoying the howling winds today? I hope it dries the water that is sitting on our sheets of ice or it will be a real mess out there. I’m a little worried about the neighbor’s dead ashes, though, that are lined up along our power line…
    This video is pure magic. Good thing you appeased all the gods!

    Liked by 1 person

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