# Resolved Spectrophotometric Properties of the Ceres Surface from Dawn Framing Camera Images

February 1, 2017
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S. E. Schröder, S. Mottola, U. Carsenty, M. Ciarniello, R. Jaumann, J.-Y. Li, A. Longobardo, E. Palmer, C. Pieters, F. Preusker, C. A. Raymond, C. T. Russell
(Submitted on 30 Jan 2017)

We present a global spectrophotometric characterization of the Ceres surface using Dawn Framing Camera (FC) images. We identify the photometric model that yields the best results for photometrically correcting images. Corrected FC images acquired on approach to Ceres were assembled into global maps of albedo and color. Generally, albedo and color variations on Ceres are muted. The albedo map is dominated by a large, circular feature in Vendimia Planitia, known from HST images (Li et al., 2006), and dotted by smaller bright features mostly associated with fresh-looking craters. The dominant color variation over the surface is represented by the presence of “blue” material in and around such craters, which has a negative spectral slope over the visible wavelength range when compared to average terrain. We also mapped variations of the phase curve by employing an exponential photometric model, a technique previously applied to asteroid Vesta (Schr\”oder et al., 2013b). The surface of Ceres scatters light differently from Vesta in the sense that the ejecta of several fresh-looking craters may be physically smooth rather than rough. High albedo, blue color, and physical smoothness all appear to be indicators of youth. The blue color may result from the desiccation of ejected material that is similar to the phyllosilicates/water ice mixtures in the experiments of Poch et al. (2016). The physical smoothness of some blue terrains would be consistent with an initially liquid condition, perhaps as a consequence of impact melting of subsurface water ice. We find red terrain (positive spectral slope) near Ernutet crater, where De Sanctis et al. (2017) detected organic material. The spectrophotometric properties of the large Vendimia Planitia feature suggest it is a palimpsest, consistent with the Marchi et al. (2016) impact basin hypothesis. The central bright area in Occator crater, Cerealia…