Discovery of Ceres and Asteroid Belt; Pre-Dawn Exploration of Ceres; Dawn Mission Overview; Surface Composition; Geology; Water Ice; Interior Structure; Recent Activity; Astrobiological Significance; Open Questions and Future Exploration;
Dr Jian-Yang Li is a research scientist at the Planetary Science Institute, Arizona, USA. His interest in Ceres started during his PhD research when he produced the then-highest resolution maps of Ceres from Hubble Space Telescope images. These maps revealed a remarkably uniform surface and suggested the uniqueness of Ceres among asteroids. After obtaining his PhD in Astronomy from the University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA in 2005, he was involved in the Dawn mission as an affiliate, participating scientist, and co-investigator. He was also involved in a number of small bodies exploration missions such as Deep Impact, Stardust-NExT, EPOXI, OSIRIS-REx, and DART. Dr Julie Castillo-Rogez is a research scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, USA. She holds a PhD in Geophysics from Rennes University, France. She has been involved in the Dawn mission since 2014, first as an affiliate, then a co-investigator, project scientist, and deputy principal investigator. Dr Castillo-Rogez was also an affiliate of the Cassini mission and is currently a co-investigator on the Europa Clipper mission and the science principal investigator for the Near-Earth Asteroid Scout CubeSat mission.