This image shows the eastern part of a feature called Nar Sulcus in Yalode Crater on dwarf planet Ceres, as seen by NASA's Dawn spacecraft. It is complementary to PIA20959.
The term "sulcus" (plural: sulci) describes terrain with long, parallel fractures. Sulci are very common on icy moons -- for example, at the south pole of Enceladus, as seen in PIA11686.
Nar Sulcus, 31 miles (50 kilometer) long, is the only feature of its kind identified on Ceres. It may point to an episode of tectonic deformation resulting from the evolution of the crater, which is the second largest on Ceres. The impact that formed Yalode heated Ceres' mixture of ice, rock and salt, perhaps causing a large volume to melt. When this material subsequently refroze, it would expand (just as water does when it turns to ice in your freezer). That may have created stresses that fractured the ground, forming Nar Sulcus.
The name "Nar Sulcus" refers to the Azerbaijani festival of the pomegranate harvest. That festival is held in October and November in the city of Goychay, center of pomegranate cultivation in Azerbaijan.
Dawn took this image on August 15, 2016, from its low-altitude mapping orbit, at a distance of about 240 miles (385 kilometers) above the surface. The image resolution is 120 feet (35 meters) per pixel.Dawn's mission is managed by JPL for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Dawn is a project of the directorate's Discovery Program, managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. UCLA is responsible for overall Dawn mission science. Orbital ATK, Inc., in Dulles, Virginia, designed and built the spacecraft. The German Aerospace Center, the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, the Italian Space Agency and the Italian National Astrophysical Institute are international partners on the mission team. For a complete list of mission participants, see http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov/mission.
For more information about the Dawn mission, visit http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov.