The bright regions on the dwarf planet Ceres have been some of the most talked about features in planetary science in recent years. While data from the Dawn spacecraft has shown these bright areas are salt deposits (alas, not lights of an alien city), the question remained of how these salts reached the surface. Researchers […]
There’s one thing that could mean the end of the Dawn mission: if the hydrazine fuel for its maneuvering thruster system runs out. Now, engineers for the Dawn mission have figured out a way to save on this fuel while still sending Dawn to a new science orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres. They are […]
All right, maybe not blinking like a flashlight (or a beacon on the tippity-top of a communication tower—don’t even start that speculation up) but the now-famous “bright spots” on the dwarf planet Ceres have been observed to detectably increase and decrease in brightness, if ever-so-slightly. And what’s particularly interesting is that these observations were made not […]
With NASA’s Dawn spacecraft set to enter its final and lowest orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres, spectral measurements are enabling researchers to gradually unravel the nature of the numerous mysterious and intriguing bright spots recently discovered and now conclude that briny mixtures of ice and salts apparently reside just beneath certain patches of the pockmarked surface and that “water is sublimating” from the surface of an “active crater”.
Host: Fraser Cain (@fcain) Special Guest: Yoav Landsman,WSH Crew Member; Principal System Engineer at SpaceIL; member of first GLXP to “hitch a ride.” Guests: Pamela Gay (cosmoquest.org / @cosmoquestx / @starstryder) Morgan Rehnberg (cosmicchatter.org / @MorganRehnberg ) Paul Sutter (pmsutter.com / @PaulMattSutter) Dave Dickinson (@astroguyz / www.astroguyz.com) Alessondra Springmann (@sondy)
The most dazzling views ever seen of dwarf planet Ceres and its mysterious bright spots are what’s on tap by year’s end as NASA’s amazing Dawn spacecraft starts a gradual but steep descent over the next two months to its lowest and final orbit around the bizarre icy body. Engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory […]