Skip to comments.Dwarf Planet Ceres' Bizarre Bright Spots Shine in Stunning Up-Close View
Posted on 07/17/2018 2:04:22 PM PDT by BenLurkin
"The new images of Occator Crater and the surrounding areas have exceeded expectations, revealing beautiful, alien landscapes," Dawn principal investigator Carol Raymond, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, said in a statement yesterday (July 16).
The $467 million Dawn mission launched in September 2007 with a bold goal: to orbit and study the two largest bodies in the asteroid belt: Vesta and Ceres. Both objects are considered leftovers from the solar system's planet-formation period (hence the mission's name). Dawn reached Vesta in July 2011 and eyed the object up close for more than a year, finally leaving for Ceres in September 2012.
Dawn discovered the Occator Crater bright spots during its approach to Ceres in early 2015, and later found a number of other crater-associated faculae around the dwarf planet. The probe's observations have since revealed that the bright spots are salty deposits, composed primarily of sodium carbonate and ammonium chloride.
Scientists think this material was left behind when briny water boiled away into space, but they're not sure where, exactly, those brines came from specifically, how deep underground the reservoirs were.
(Excerpt) Read more at space.com ...
“The Sentinel”, Arthur C. Clarke.
“Dwarf Planet Ceres”
I think they prefer to be called “Little Planets” nowadays.
The SF story that Stanley Kubrick thought he could build "the proverbial 'good science fiction movie'" around.
Density of Ceres is 2.08 g/cm³; Earth density is 5.51 g/cm³.
So it’s not a thin rocky crust over a gigantic gold nugget.
"Pallas" by same author is better, but they aren't visiting that dwarf planet. Too bad.
The asteroid belt is not left over but part of the on going accretion process.
Accretion is the process of gravity in action and is the process of formation all over the known universe
The bottom picture cries out for a Whispering Bill Anderson song:
Not only is this Ceres, but it Hugh as well.
Is that beyond the infamous Van Allen Belts?
The asteroids are leftover shards of Tiamat.
In the mid 70’s Isaac Asimov wrote an essay on the current state of knowledge of the body called, “ The World Ceres”. It was considered a planet when it was first discovered,in 1801, and might be again.
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