Fly Around Ceres

Ponder Ceres, largest resident of the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Discovered in 1801 by Giuseppe Piazzi, early astronomers considered it a planet. With a diameter of 598 miles, planet is a stretch. Officially, this 33rd largest object in our solar system is a dwarf planet. Large enough to be rounded by its own gravity, yet much too small for planetary respect.

Fortunately, size doesn’t matter to science. In 2007 NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory launched the Dawn probe. Dawn’s mission – study “protoplanets” Vesta and Ceres in the asteroid belt to advance understanding of how solar systems form. In July of 2011 Dawn began a 14 month orbit of Vesta (Ceres rocky little sister with a diameter of 325 miles), March of this year found Dawn entering orbit around Ceres. On June 8, 2015 NASA released this video compilation, flying around Ceres – Taken from Dawn’s first orbital mapping and navigational images.

Remarkable as it is, the video hasn’t solved one of Ceres greatest mysteries, a curious surface anomaly dubbed the double bright spot. Over the next few months NASA is asking our opinion – vote volcano, geyser, rock, ice, salt deposit or other at the link below.

Image – NASA



7 thoughts on “Fly Around Ceres

  1. It is clearly an alien civilization šŸ™‚ Every time we look somewhere we discover a mystery. As we can look at infinitely many things, we’ll never solve all the mysteries. But we love the “aha” when we solve it and then go and look for teh next one. These are amazing images – who would have thought we’d be able to take them!

  2. I like! Hey, not long now till DSCVR starts beaming back her live feed. How freaking awesome is that going to be!!

    And Notes, my book is now out! I think you’d like it.

  3. Those are the broken reflective mirrors left behind by the first aliens to land there. They were rescued, but didn’t have room for them on that ship.
    Seriously, considering that is the only spot on the whole planet like it, I’d go with an exposed shiny ore like silver or even highly polished lava rock. Maybe even something we don’t have on our element table.

  4. Considering Ceres is about 250 million miles from Earth, the orbital video at that fist very long link in your post is ……… absolutely amazing. Watch it full screen!

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