The International Space Flotilla, which launched in 2012, is set to return to the planet Ceres in 2019.
The images were taken by the Dawn spacecraft and released in October 2017, and they are now making their way online to mark the 75th anniversary of the launch of the first spacecraft to reach the surface of the dwarf planet.
The images were captured by the camera on the Dawn mission.
The Dawn mission’s principal investigator, Mike Brown, told AFP news agency: “These are stunning images of Ceres.
The surface of Ceres is quite extraordinary and the images show a world unlike any we’ve seen before.”
It’s not just Ceres.
It’s the moon, Titan, the volcanoes, the icecaps and the plains and valleys of Mars.
“We’ve also got a very, very bright planet in the middle of the solar system.”
He added that the images showed that “this is a world with very, strong magnetic fields, which are really exciting”.
The Dawn mission was launched in August 2016 and landed on the asteroid, which is more than half the size of Earth and orbits around the sun once every 14 years.
In its mission to the dwarf world, the Dawn team was also looking for evidence of ancient lakes and rivers.
“It’s like a geology textbook that we have all been waiting for,” said Brown.
“This is just a very exciting opportunity to explore some of the most remote and beautiful places on our planet.”
The mission’s next mission is to orbit around the gas giant Pluto, which has been in the news recently after the dwarf was discovered to have a moon, Charon.
Dawn is expected to make its final close flyby of the moon in 2026.