NASA just released new images of Ceres taken from the Dawn spacecraft. This picture showed a second brighter spot which is brighter than the first. They lie adjacent to each other the same basin.
These pictures are just appetizers for the other pictures which Dawn will be sending back to Earth soon. The spacecraft will be entering the orbit of Ceres on March 6. With clearer picture, the mystery will soon be solved. Some scientists’ believed that the bright spots are none but ice formation.
These bright spots served as the inspiration for NASA to send a spacecraft to Ceres which is located at the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Ceres in fact is the biggest of all the asteroids found in this cluster. It has the size of 950 km or 590 miles in diameter.
“Ceres’ bright spot can now be seen to have a companion of lesser brightness, but apparently in the same basin,” said Chris, principal investigator for the Dawn mission. “This may be pointing to a volcano-like origin of the spots, but we will have to wait for better resolution before we can make such geologic interpretations.”
Ceres is the nearest dwarf planet to the sun. NASAs main interest is the presence of bright spots which may be no other than frozen water. If this is true, then it may have some life forms in it or it may have the capabilities in supporting human life.
The dawn spacecraft left Earth in 2007 and is expected to reach Ceres by March 2015. As we have said it will enter the Ceres orbit next month. It passed through Vesta last year to study the second biggest asteroid for comparative study with Ceres.
A lot of questions will be answered in just about a little over a week or 9 nine days to be exact. The Earth is holding its breath.