Gravity Data Reveals The Inner Structure Of Ceres

Posted: Aug 4 2016, 10:45am CDT | by , Updated: Aug 4 2016, 9:37pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News


Gravity Data Reveals the Inner Structure of the Ceres

Scientists attempt to find what lies deep inside the dwarf planet Ceres.

Ceres is known most for its mysterious bright spots and various craters spreading over its surface. Many studies have been made to determine the composition of bright spots and craters and they have provided us important clues as well, but what lies deep inside the dwarf planet is still a mystery.

Recently, researchers have planned to study the inner structure of the dwarf planet and have devised a way too. Researchers have found that remote observations of the gravity can reveal the interior of the Ceres and can help understand how the dwarf planet’s mass is distributed and this gravity can be tracked by the rotation of Dawn spacecraft itself which has been orbiting Ceres since 2015. The data collected by Dawn helped scientists to map the variations in Ceres' gravity for the first time.

“The new data suggest that Ceres has a weak interior, and that water and other light materials partially separated from rock during a heating phase early in its history.” Ryan Park, the study's lead author said in a statement

Dawn spacecraft monitored the radio signals from the Ceres’ gravity field and used these signals to get the details about its gravity. Additionally, the latest measurements seem to indicate that Ceres has differentiated into distinct layers, meaning every layer is compositionally different from each other while the core is densest than any of the layer.

"We have found that the divisions between different layers are less pronounced inside Ceres than the moon and other planets in our solar system. Earth, with its metallic core, semi-fluid mantle and outer crust, has a more clearly defined structure than Ceres.” Park said.

The latest observations can tell us more about the history of the dwarf planet as well. How and when does the water ice found on Ceres separated from the rocky material inside and reached the outer layer alongside other light materials.

Co-author Carol Raymond says. “We know from previous Dawn studies that there must have been interactions between water and rock inside Ceres. That, combined with the new density structure, tells us that Ceres experienced a complex thermal history.”


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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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