Planetoid Bright Spots continue to baffle astronomers

Scientists have taken their nearest view yet at many baffling bright spots on the dwarf planet Ceres.

Several pictures captured by Dawn spacecraft were displayed showing the many bright spots which has puzzled scientists no end. The pictures were shot from a distance of about 4,500 miles or 7,200 kilometers with a resolution of 2,250 born 700 meters per pixel.

“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,” Christopher Russell, principal investigator for the Dawn mission from the University of California, Los Angeles, said.

When the shiny areas were first spotted, this was in March, there were several suggestions concerning what they might be. Scientists came up with explanations such as that they are reflections of some exposed materials. More explanations were given as more and clearer pictures were sent over from Dawn to NASA headquarters. .

The pictures were taken by Dawn on April 14 and 15 from a distance of 14,000 miles or 22,000 kilometers above the northern hemisphere of Ceres. . In another instance,   last May 11. A new batch of pictures showed the scientists that the two spots were actually composed of several other spots.

Dawn reached Ceres orbit last March 16 setting a record where in a spacecraft orbited a dwarf planet.

There will be a comparison of data between Ceres and Vista which Dawn passed by and studied on the way to Ceres. This was from 2011 and 1012.

 

Image: http://d38zt8ehae1tnt.cloudfront.net/

Source: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/scientists-get-closest-look-at-mystery-spots-on-ceres/

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