Subsequent images of Ceres will show surface features at increasingly better resolution.
Dawn arrived at Ceres on March 6, marking the first time a spacecraft has orbited a dwarf planet. Previously, the spacecraft explored giant asteroid Vesta for 14 months from 2011 to 2012. Dawn has the distinction of being the only spacecraft to orbit two extraterrestrial targets.
Ceres, with an average diameter of about 590 miles (950km), is the largest body in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Dawn has been using its ion propulsion system to maneuver to its first science orbit at Ceres, which it will reach April 23. The spacecraft will remain at a distance of 8,400 miles (13,500km) from the dwarf planet until May 9. Afterward, it will make its way to lower orbits.