NASA Finds Life's Building Blocks On Ceres

Posted: Feb 17 2017, 8:26am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

 

NASA Finds Life's Building Blocks on Ceres
NASA
  • Dawn discovers organic materials on Ceres
 

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft Finds life's building blocks on dwarf planet Ceres

Scientists consider dwarf planet Ceres a better planet for aliens. Recently organic molecules are discovered by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft on Ceres.

This the first time NASA found life enhancing molecules on a planet. Scientists say that the organics are perhaps natives, because they develop on Ceres instead of reaching there through asteroids, and researchers also declared Ceres as solar system’s largest asteroid.

The research study published in the journal Science.

Ceres still has heat it used to have when it was formed, and it also may have ocean under its surface. The research has opened a new possibility that Ceres may have life long ago, explained in an accompanying article News and Views.

This article by Michael Küppers, a planetary scientist based at the European Space Astronomy Centre just outside Madrid, also appeared in the journal Nature. He also explained in the article that Ceres also joins different satellites and mars in the solar system having life.

NASA’s mission Dawn occurred in 2007 that studied Ceres and Vesta which are known as the biggest asteroid belts between Jupiter and mars.

Between july 2011 and September 2012, Dawn traveled around Vesta when it was going to Ceres where it reached in 2015. Dawn is the first spacecraft that orbited two different asteroids outside earth’s moon system.

While at Ceres, Dawn detected strange spots on crater floor that looked like ice volcano having a size of 2.5 miles tall that helped NASA scientists to understand that water ice is common under the surface especially near the poles of the planet.

The recent organics’ discovery has supported the old research. Dawn observed the spots with its infrared mapping spectrometer instrument.

NASA scientists believe that there may be more such regions of ice, because the team only surveyed the middle latitudes of the Ceres, said study lead author Maria Cristina De Sanctis, of the Institute for Space Astrophysics and Space Planetology in Rome in an email to Space.com.

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