We still don’t know precisely what is bringing on the bright spots on the surface of the dwarf planet of our solar system -Ceres. Thanks to the new images shared by NASA – the most detailed so far- of the planet’s surface, we do realize that there is a greater amount of those tiny bright spots than first suspected.
What’s more, NASA specialists now have a really good thought about what kind of phenomenon causes them. Christopher Russell, principal investigator for the Dawn mission, said in an announcement: “Dawn scientists can now conclude that the intense brightness of these spots is due to the reflection of sunlight by highly reflective material on the surface, possibly ice.”
The new images originated from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft after it finished its first mapping orbit around Ceres.
“The brightest spots within a crater in the northern hemisphere are revealed to be composed of many smaller spots,” Jet Propulsion laboratory, said in an announcement.
Ceres circles the sun in the main asteroid belt of our solar system, in the middle of Mars and Jupiter. Dawn entered Ceres’ orbit in March. It is currently on its way in for a closer, second orbit around Ceres.
Though, there is a wide range of things researchers want to find out about the early solar system from Dawn’s mission, the puzzle of the specks has caught a considerable amount of attention as the spacecraft captures better and better pictures of the surface.
To start with, a crater on Ceres seemed to contain simply a solitary, round bit of brightness. As Dawn drew closer orbit, a better image of the crater containing the spots demonstrated two particular spots, not only one. As it moved even closer, scientists saw that the surface of Ceres is littered with other, less dramatic bright spots.
Presently, it’s conspicuous that the single crater containing the brightest spots contains not one, not two, but rather a lot of them.
As Dawn significantly goes closer to Ceres, scientists will have the capacity to learn much all the more about the surface dwarf planet, dots and what not.