New images of the dwarf planet Ceres, taken from 2,700 miles above by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, show the surface of this mysterious world in sharper detail than ever before.
“The bright spots in this configuration make Ceres unique from anything we’ve seen before in the solar system. The science team is working to understand their source. Reflection from ice is the leading candidate in my mind, but the team continues to consider alternate possibilities, such as salt. With closer views from the new orbit and multiple view angles, we soon will be better able to determine the nature of this enigmatic phenomenon,” said UCLA’s Chris Russell, principal investigator for the Dawn mission.
Discuss this article in our forum
Newly discovered dwarf planet hints at a much larger not-yet-seen planet
Water vapor plumes observed erupting from dwarf planet
Climate change studies vexed by Vesta
Astronomers witness mysterious disintegration of asteroid