According to a NASA statement, the agencyâ€™s Dawn probe has been snared by the gravitational pull of the dwarf planet Ceres. The capture took place on March 6 at about 7:39 a.m. EST, when Dawn was about 38,000 miles away. Less than an hour later, Dawn signaled that it was functioning normally and that its ion engine was burning, indicating that the orbital insertion had gone smoothly.
Upon its arrival at Ceres, Dawn is on the side of the dwarf planet facing away from the Sun. However, when the probe crosses to Ceresâ€™ light side in the middle of April, it will send back sharp new images. The imagesâ€™ resolution will increase as Dawnâ€™s orbit becomes progressively lower.