Ceres, a dwarf planet, is the largest object in the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. It is an ice and rock ball the size of France and contains about a third of all the mass in the asteroid belt.

Dawn Spacecraft

The closest natural color image taken from a distance of 13,600 kilometers (about the diameter of Earth).

Keck Observatory

The best Earth based view of Ceres reveals a mottled surface.

Hubble Space Telescope

This picture from Hubble clearly shows multiple fixed bright spots on the surface that rotate with the planet.

Palermo Observatory

Sicilian astronomer Giuseppe Piazzi announced his discovery of a possible new planet today after observing its movements over the previous weeks.

Ceres is not visible to the unaided eye and since there was no photography in 1801 (as far as I know) the image above is a modern photograph of what he might have seen with the 7.5 cm refracting telescope at the Palermo Observatory.

Dwarf Planets