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This Dwarf Planet Might Have More Fresh Water Than All Of Earth
Popular Science ^ | January 22, 2014 | Colin Lecher

Posted on 01/26/2014 7:31:00 PM PST by SunkenCiv

And it's actually (relatively) nearby.

This is poor, unfortunate Ceres. Discovered in 1801, it was at first called a planet, then soon classified as an asteroid, and recently as a dwarf planet, not quite qualifying for real planet status despite residing in the solar system's asteroid belt. But now it can feel special: the Herschel Telescope has, the for the first time, detected water on the lil' planet--probably a whole lot of it, too.

The telescope, using infrared vision, detected a signature of water vapor from Ceres. The researchers think when the 590-mile-wide Ceres moves closer to the sun, part of its icy surface (something never conclusively proven to exist before now) is being melted, and that Herschel picked it up. How much ice, then, is in the surface? To put it in context: if it was melted, it would be more fresh water than is available on all of Earth.

Serendipitously, NASA already has a space probe, Dawn, in the area, and it'll be heading to Ceres next for a closer look at the surface in spring of 2015.

(Excerpt) Read more at popsci.com ...


TOPICS: Astronomy; Science
KEYWORDS: 2112; asteroid; asteroids; catastrophism; ceres; dawn; dawnspacecraft; herscheltelescope; hugh; nasa; rush; vesta; water; xplanets
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Ceres NASA, ESA, J. Parker (Southwest Research Institute), P. Thomas (Cornell University), and L. McFadden (University of Maryland, College Park)

Ceres NASA, ESA, J. Parker (Southwest Research Institute), P. Thomas (Cornell University), and L. McFadden (University of Maryland, College Park)

1 posted on 01/26/2014 7:31:00 PM PST by SunkenCiv
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To: KevinDavis; annie laurie; Knitting A Conundrum; Viking2002; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Mmogamer; ...
 
X-Planets
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Google news searches: exoplanet · exosolar · extrasolar ·

2 posted on 01/26/2014 7:32:33 PM PST by SunkenCiv (;http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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To: SunkenCiv

Can we direct it’s path into Mars? To help terraform Mars?


3 posted on 01/26/2014 7:32:57 PM PST by DannyTN (A>)
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To: SunkenCiv

Can we direct it’s path into Mars? To help terraform Mars?


4 posted on 01/26/2014 7:32:58 PM PST by DannyTN (A>)
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To: SunkenCiv

Serendipitously?

Dawn so ugly she gotta sneak up on an asteroid full of water.


5 posted on 01/26/2014 7:34:41 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: DannyTN

6 posted on 01/26/2014 7:36:18 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: DannyTN

It’s nearly 600 miles in diameter, so, not at this time. :’) And adding its mass to Mars wouldn’t amount to much. Mars has about 1/8th the mass of Earth, and Ceres’ is .00015 the mass of Earth. Ceres is one third of the mass of the entire asteroid belt, so adding all those to Mars as well wouldn’t amount to much (.00045).


7 posted on 01/26/2014 7:37:29 PM PST by SunkenCiv (;http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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To: SunkenCiv
when the 590-mile-wide Ceres moves closer to the sun, part of its icy surface (something never conclusively proven to exist before now) is being melted, and that Herschel picked it up

Maybe we should be talking to this guy Herschel ...

8 posted on 01/26/2014 7:38:24 PM PST by mikrofon (Hugh & Ceres News)
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To: SunkenCiv

I’ve read we have to be careful looking at the pictures you post. 8^)


9 posted on 01/26/2014 7:39:29 PM PST by Lurkina.n.Learnin (This is not just stupid, we're talking Democrat stupid here.)
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To: SunkenCiv
More water than this planet?.....


10 posted on 01/26/2014 7:40:56 PM PST by Texas Eagle (If it wasn't for double-standards, Liberals would have no standards at all -- Texas Eagle)
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To: Texas Eagle

11 posted on 01/26/2014 7:42:01 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: SunkenCiv

That’s disappointing. Well if Terra-forming Mars was easy, everyone would be doing it.


12 posted on 01/26/2014 7:43:45 PM PST by DannyTN (A>)
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To: SunkenCiv

That’s disappointing. Well if Terra-forming Mars was easy, everyone would be doing it.


13 posted on 01/26/2014 7:43:45 PM PST by DannyTN (A>)
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Bookmark


14 posted on 01/26/2014 7:43:54 PM PST by moose07 (the truth will out ,one day.)
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To: SunkenCiv

I’ve read that the average distance between the asteroids is about a million miles.

Not exactly the rock strewn field of rubble often artistically portrayed.


15 posted on 01/26/2014 7:44:17 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: DannyTN

Have to remelt the martian core and hope it develops a working magnetic field first.


16 posted on 01/26/2014 7:46:05 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: mikrofon
Maybe we should be talking to this guy Herschel ...

If he can pick up this dwarf planet . . . he's one scary dude.

17 posted on 01/26/2014 7:50:18 PM PST by BipolarBob
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To: SunkenCiv; abb; weegee

This is Hugh

and Ceres.

18 posted on 01/26/2014 7:57:06 PM PST by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: DannyTN

Or it becomes a great place for an interplanetary way station. Past Mars, not in Jupiter’s radiation field, low gravity, and now we know it has water.


19 posted on 01/26/2014 7:58:15 PM PST by tbw2
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To: cripplecreek

Well if the Artists drew it that way they would run out of paper!


20 posted on 01/26/2014 8:00:32 PM PST by mabarker1 (Please, Somebody Impeach the kenyan!!!!)
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To: SunkenCiv

It would make a pretty big splash if it hit earth. It would be a good first step for Mars. Although smashing one of the Martian moons into that planet might do more good. So maybe that should be the second step.


21 posted on 01/26/2014 8:03:18 PM PST by PAR35
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To: Texas Eagle

Dunno. That planet looks like it’s retaining a LOT of water...


22 posted on 01/26/2014 8:25:32 PM PST by null and void (We need to shake this snowglobe up.)
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To: SunkenCiv

“it would be more fresh water than is available on all of Earth. “

I hate statistics like this. They make it sound like it has oceans of water. All the FRESH WATER on earth would likely not fill up the Mediterrainean Sea.


23 posted on 01/26/2014 8:27:22 PM PST by staytrue
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To: DannyTN

Multiple Asteroid Strikes May Have Killed Mars’s Magnetic Field

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/01/mars-dynamo-death/


24 posted on 01/26/2014 8:29:15 PM PST by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
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To: staytrue

Dont forget that “fresh water” includes both polar icecaps, as well as the Greenland icepack, the Great Lakes, Lake Baikal, and so on. Pretty significant, and likely more than enough to fill the Med basin.


25 posted on 01/26/2014 8:44:00 PM PST by Little Pig (Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici.)
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To: staytrue

I have made potable water for human consumption.

A tall glass of this, I would not drink.


26 posted on 01/26/2014 8:44:07 PM PST by Delta 21 (If you like your freedom, you can keep your freedom. Period.)
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To: Delta 21

water—the one thing we need. This micro-world might make a good base to explore Mars and the Gas Giants. Put this water world in orbit around Mars.


27 posted on 01/26/2014 8:59:22 PM PST by Forward the Light Brigade (Into the Jaws of H*ll)
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To: SunkenCiv

................... if it was melted, it would be more fresh water than is available on all of Earth. ..........

How did the finding of water suddenly jump to fresh water????

Maybe it’s methane laced water, or sulpheric based water


28 posted on 01/26/2014 9:11:04 PM PST by Noob1999 (Loose Lips, Sink Ships)
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To: SunkenCiv

...not so hugh, but it’s Ceres anyway...


29 posted on 01/26/2014 9:16:08 PM PST by castlebrew (Gun Control means hitting where you're aiming!))
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To: cripplecreek

Trying to crash it into Mars would kill all life on Earth!


30 posted on 01/26/2014 9:19:04 PM PST by Empireoftheatom48 (God help the Republic but will he?)
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To: SunkenCiv
No, colonizing ceres would be easier than mars if it does have as much water as claimed...

Mars may have water, but mars also has BAD water...


31 posted on 01/26/2014 9:24:49 PM PST by GraceG
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To: SunkenCiv; Revolting cat!
Planet Dopey?


32 posted on 01/26/2014 10:14:49 PM PST by a fool in paradise ("Health care is too important to be left to the government.")
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To: SunkenCiv

All this talk of water is making me very thirsty.


33 posted on 01/26/2014 10:20:43 PM PST by Dogbert41 (Up yours NSA !)
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To: SunkenCiv
The researchers think when the 590-mile-wide Ceres moves closer to the sun, part of its icy surface (something never conclusively proven to exist before now) is being melted

Ah ha. Proof that global warming, or maybe I should say, Ceres warming really does exist. (Not)

34 posted on 01/27/2014 1:53:06 AM PST by Mark17 (Chicago Blackhawks: Stanley Cup champions 2010, 2013. Vietnam Vet 70-71 Msgt US Air Force, retired)
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To: SunkenCiv
To put it in context: if it was melted, it would be more fresh water than is available on all of Earth.

How can they tell that it is FRESH water? It could be loaded with any soluble substances.

35 posted on 01/27/2014 2:05:39 AM PST by JimRed (Excise the cancer before it kills us; feed & water the Tree of Liberty! TERM LIMITS NOW & FOREVER!)
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To: JimRed; Noob1999
How can they tell that it is FRESH water? It could be loaded with any soluble substances.

Perhaps by analyzing the spectrum of the light coming from it and filtered by it? While I haven't done it since college, spectroscopy is a very valuable tool.

36 posted on 01/27/2014 2:21:03 AM PST by Yossarian
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To: Texas Eagle

It all has to do with retention ,, evaporation from the sun , what time of month/bloating .. etc. etc..

What difference does it make now?


37 posted on 01/27/2014 3:43:30 AM PST by Neidermeyer (I used to be disgusted , now I try to be amused.)
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To: martin_fierro

nuw that is clever.


38 posted on 01/27/2014 4:31:13 AM PST by brivette
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To: staytrue

That’s no asteroid, that’s a service station! Good location for an industrial base supporting acquisition of resources further out (cometary ices and gases), to complement the mineral resources of asteroids. A temporary resource stepping-stone, as the bulk of ices/gas are past Pluto.


39 posted on 01/27/2014 12:56:15 PM PST by Ozark Tom
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To: Dogbert41

Good thing it isn’t a thread about the 7th planet....


40 posted on 01/27/2014 1:00:05 PM PST by Hegewisch Dupa
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To: GraceG

;’)


41 posted on 01/27/2014 7:36:34 PM PST by SunkenCiv (;http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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To: DannyTN

As long as no one was in a rush, and such a large quantity of water were available, I’d start with Venus, which is very nearly the same diameter and mass as the Earth.


42 posted on 01/27/2014 7:38:53 PM PST by SunkenCiv (;http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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To: SunkenCiv

How do you neutralize the sulfuric acid?

Venus does have the advantage of having enough atmosphere if we can make it non-toxic. But we need a way of trapping the sulfuric acid. Maybe a designer bacteria, that can survive the high temps and the acid?


43 posted on 01/27/2014 7:48:00 PM PST by DannyTN (A>)
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To: DannyTN

Perhaps so, after dilution.

This is interesting:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sulfuric_acid#Sulfur-iodine_cycle


44 posted on 01/27/2014 8:26:05 PM PST by SunkenCiv (;http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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To: SunkenCiv
Check out this one on the use of bacteria to neutralize acid lakes.

Neutralization of acid lakes'

Maybe a combined approach of bombarding Venus with calcium rich asteroids and acid reducing bacteria.

Another possibility would be if we could find alkaline deposits on Venus and get those into the air.

90% of the surface of Venus is basalt. I see mention of alkali basalt, but don't know what the PH normally is or what it's likely to be on Venus. However I see basalt tends to weather quickly, so water might just do the trick.

Water could disolve compounds in the basalt and if those compounds are alkaline enough, they could neutralize the acid. Once the acid is neutralized, we could introduce plant forms that could withstand the heat and trap the carbon while releasing oxygen into the air.

Supposedly Venus's atmosphere is 90 times more dense than ours. I wonder what the introduction of that much water would have on it's atmosphere.

45 posted on 01/27/2014 8:51:48 PM PST by DannyTN (A>)
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To: 75thOVI; agrace; aimhigh; Alice in Wonderland; AndrewC; aragorn; aristotleman; Avoiding_Sulla; ...

KEYWORDS: asteroid; asteroids; water

46 posted on 02/25/2014 3:49:31 PM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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To: staytrue
They make it sound like it has oceans of water.

Good point, I missed that.

47 posted on 02/25/2014 4:05:14 PM PST by aimhigh
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To: cripplecreek

...did Hillary turn into a giant scrotum?


48 posted on 02/25/2014 4:07:33 PM PST by Rides_A_Red_Horse (Why do you need a fire extinguisher when you can call the fire department?)
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To: SunkenCiv

a lot of water on Ceres?

Is it not a rock? “Ender’s Game” and “Enders Shadow” were wrong??


49 posted on 02/25/2014 4:10:42 PM PST by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
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To: DannyTN
Not if this crew gets there first...

50 posted on 02/25/2014 4:10:57 PM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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