Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Puzzling Bright Spots of Ceres

Hey Space Placers!

What an image taken of dwarf planet Ceres by the approaching Dawn spacecraft on Feb. 19, 2015;

Image Credit: 
I'm surprised that this hasn't shown up in the tabloids or the 'net as an alien beacon or similar silly predictions. I did Tweet to NASA and the Dawn spacecraft that this looked like an X-File and that Scully and Mulder needed to investigate - all tongue in cheek of course!

As Dawn gets ever closer to Ceres our views will improve and the bright spots and craters will come into clearer focus. Speculation right now is that they may be impact craters or what I think more likely is some form of cryovolcano (ice volcanoes) activity like we have seen on other moons in the solar system

A week from tomorrow, March 8th, Dawn will begin manuvering to enter into orbit around Ceres to begin 5 months of observation. This will reveal Ceres in great detail and there will be much to learn and astound during that time.

After the mission Dawn will remain in orbit around Ceres and we will be rewriting the textbooks on dwarf planets, the asteroid belt and the solar system in general.

Stay tuned as we enjoy this voyage of exploration together.

Sky Guy in VA

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