NASA Spacecraft Reveals More Details Of Mysterious Bright Spots On Dwarf Planet Ceres

Posted: Sep 10 2015, 3:31am CDT | by , Updated: Sep 10 2015, 9:22pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News


More Details of Mysterious Bright Spots on Dwarf Planet Ceres
Courtesy of NASA/JPL

NASA Dawn spacecraft's recently delivered images provide more clear view of brights spots in Ceres crater.

The bright spots on dwarf planet Ceres have been a center of attraction for scientists for a while. The latest image delivered by NASA Dawn spacecraft reveals more fine details about bright spots found inside a crater on the dwarf planet Ceres. 

The mysterious spots were first observed when NASA’s Dawn spacecraft approached the dwarf planet earlier this year. They have captured images before but the latest one provides the better and clear viewing of the bright, central spots and their shape. The image was created by combining two separate frames, one gives a deeper perspective of bright spot while other the dark, surrounding surface. However, scientists are unable yet to come up with the detailed chemistry of the deposits.

“Dawn has transformed what was so recently a few bright dots into a complex and beautiful, gleaming landscape. Soon, the scientific analysis will reveal the geological and chemical nature of this mysterious and mesmerizing extraterrestrial scenery.” Marc Rayman, Dawn’ chief engineer based at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory said in a statement.

This is the closest image of the crater on the dwarf planet called Occator so far with the resolution of 450 feet per pixels. Scientists found that the rim of Occator crater rises steeply up to 1 mile in some places. The two bright spots are near the center of the crater. The concentrations seem resolved in one area while the other has more scattered deposits.

Ceres is the largest celestial object in asteroid belt, lying between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. The object was first discovered in 1801. It was initially considered a planet, than an asteroid and lastly a dwarf planet. 

Dawn spacecraft reached to the Ceres in the March this year and continues to study the celestial object ever since. NASA scientists are mapping the surface of Ceres for some time which will enable them to assemble stereo view and create 3-D maps.

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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