Verdict In On Ceres Bright Spot — It’s Salt

Salt and butter. Ingredients essential to a happy life. At least one of those you’ll find on Ceres, and it ain’t butter. According to a new study from scientists on NASA’s Dawn mission published June 29 in the journal Nature, the dominant mineral of the mysterious “bright spot” in Ceres’ Occator Crater is sodium carbonate, a…
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Dawn Spacecraft May Visit A Secret Destination

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft orbited Vesta for 14 months in 2011 and 2012, and then departed for Ceres, where it’s orbited since March 2015. This week, Dawn’s been taking stereo views of the dwarf planet’s terrain from just 233 miles (375 kilometers) up or about 20 miles lower than the altitude of the International Space Station. Dawn’s dual-asteroid mission…
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Dawn Gets Eye-popping Closeups Of Ceres’ Bright Spots

Seeing these new photos goes a long way toward satisfying our curiosity about Ceres’ bright spots, first seen in Hubble Space Telescope photos and revealed in ever increasing detail by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft. The new pictures showing the brightest of the bright were taken from what the Dawn team calls “LAMO” or low-altitude mapping orbit just…
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Ceres Has A Shiny Mountain

This Cerean mountain is beautiful to behold. Maybe it’s a lack of resolution or maybe the debris that formed the finely striated slopes is composed of a different mix of materials than seen on Earth, but the nearly parallel furrows make for an incredible sight. I almost want to grab a sand sled and go…
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Take A Wonderful Flight Over The Dwarf Planet Ceres

Explore Mt. Ahuna, Occator Crater and more in this flight over the dwarf planet Click play and fly over the surface of Ceres in this latest animation using images taken by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft. The movie shows the dwarf planet in enhanced color, which helps to highlight subtle differences in the appearance of surface materials. Scientists…
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