Saturday, December 12, 2015

One Mystery Solved While a New Mystery Unfolds on Ceres!

Of course I have to share this video clip of Ceres. 

The surface of Ceres is just under 600 miles in diamter. The surface is generally dark, but for months we have been waiting to solve the mystery of the two bright spots on this little world. 

Now that Dawn is just 240 miles above the surface, we are getting some spectacular views. We can now see 130 bright spots like the two we have been watching in Occator Crater.

Dawn scientists have been studying these spots and feel they are assiciated with impact craters. Scientists think the bright material may be a type of magnesium sulfate called hexahydrite. A different kind of magnesium sulfate is on Earth, which we call Epsom salt. Scientists think these salt-rich areas were left behind when water-ice sublimated in the past. 

[If this is accurate, then our first mystery is solved!!! Yipee]
Did you cast a vote for what you thought the bright spots might be? 
To find out more about that, Click HERE

Back to Our New Mystery

To get to our new "mini-world mystery" we need to take another look at this same area ~ Occator Crater. The inside part of Occator Crater sometimes features a haze that fills the floor of the crater. The haze appears around noon, but is missing at dawn and dusk. Is this similar to a comet? Could it be a bit of atmostphere from water vapor, similar to the geysers of Enceladus? Why are scientists only seeing this haze in Occator Crater? Could this be happening anywhere else on Ceres?
Click Here for more information.

You might also be interested in my Ceres PowerPoints and information on the asteroids.
If you click on the picture, you will go to my store. 
If you click HERE, you will go to an earlier blog and get a better description of this lesson.

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