There Is A New Dwarf Planet In Town That Is Potentially Habitable
Could there be life on Ceres? There is a new dwarf planet in town, it is Ceres, the largest object in the Asteroid belt, you know the one between Mars and Jupiter. Well, it is not the floating hunk of rock that scientists once thought it was.
Ceres may have had an ancient ocean and potentially water underground today. Because of this exciting finding NASA is extending the mission. They want to get yet again even closer to Ceres’ surface, which is closer than ever before. Previously, the closest view of Ceres has been from 240 miles away. NASA to send Dawn to a much closer 120 miles away in the spring of 2018.
Prior to the Dawn spacecraft's arrival in early 2015, dwarf planet Ceres was the largest unexplored world in the inner solar system. Highlights from the mission's first science orbits will be presented.
Occator Crater on Ceres is home to the brightest area on the entire dwarf planet. At 57 miles (92 kilometers) wide and 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) deep, Occator displays evidence of recent geologic activity. NASA's Dawn mission found that the bright spots may have been produced by upwelling of salt-rich liquids after the impact that formed the crater. Pan and zoom as you fly over the crater with Dawn in this 360-degree animation made with observations from the spacecraft.
Did you know that dwarf planet Ceres existed? What are your thoughts on this issue? Let us know in the comments below!