Ceres offers insight into the synthesis, transport of organic matter in the inner solar system
We usually associate volcanoes with extreme heat. But new results demonstrate that the Solar System’s largest asteroid, Ceres, is covered in volcanoes that have spewed ice throughout their history.
In March of 2015, NASA’s Dawn mission became the first spacecraft to visit the protoplanet Ceres, the largest body in the Main Asteroid Belt.
A new analysis of data collected by NASA’s Dawn orbiter suggests that organic molecules may exist in surprisingly high concentrations on the surface of Ceres. The study appears in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has detected recent changes in Ceres’ surface, revealing that the dwarf planet is a dynamic planetary body that continues to evolve and change. The results are published in two papers in the journal Science Advances.
Scientists have long thought that Ceres may have a very weak, transient atmosphere, but mysteries lingered about its origin and why it’s not always present.
On the dwarf planet Ceres, volcanoes rage — but instead of hot lava coming out of them as on Earth, they spew brine and ice.