Washington: To mark Kwanzaa, an African-American festival based on ancient harvest celebrations that takes place each year from December 26 to January 1, NASA has released images of a small mountain named after the event on the dwarf planet Ceres.
Called Kwanzaa Tholus, this mountain measures about 35 by 19 kilometres and is elevated about three kilometres above its surroundings.
Scientists believe that Kwanzaa Tholus may have once been as prominent as Ahuna Mons, the tallest and most noticeable mountain on Ceres.
Ahuna Mons is likely a cryovolcano, formed by the gradual accumulation of thick, slowly flowing icy materials.
Because ice is not strong enough to preserve an elevated structure for extended periods, cryovolcanoes on Ceres are expected to gradually collapse over tens of millions of years.
This means Kwanzaa Tholus and other tholi in that area could be degraded mountains, which also formed from cryovolcanic activity, NASA said.
The image was captured by NASA’s Dawn probe.
Launched in September 2007, the Dawn spacecraft arrived in orbit at Ceres in March 2015.