Welcome to a new world. The largest asteroid is now being visited. It’s also the smallest dwarf planet. NASA’s Dawn is currently nearing Ceres and will be entering into orbit around it over the next day. We’ve been treated to some great images of it over the last month.
A couple months ago, we knew there was a bright spot on Ceres. A month ago, we could see it was still there. A couple weeks ago, we saw that it was very bright and small. More recently, we found out it was actually two bright spots. But we don’t see it clearly enough yet.
Just look at that. What the hell is that? It’s so much brighter than the surrounding surface, and even as it passes over the terminator from day into night, it’s still bright for a short time. It’s in the centre of a large impact crater, so it’s possible it’s the central peak of the crater. However, there are two of them. Could they be fresh impact craters that revealed ice below the dark regolith? Or are they ice volcanoes?
As Dawn explores Ceres over the next year, we should learn a lot about it.
What do you think that bright spot is?
The official blog of Jay Dee Archer. Exploring new worlds, real and fictional.