Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Ice on Ceres

NASA announced today that there are two distinct lines of evidence for ice at or near the surface of Ceres, the largest body in the main asteroid belt. They note that "Ice is everywhere on Ceres," but they don't seem to even consider the possibility that the craters on the surface were caused by steam volcano explosions, or what we call hydrocraters.

The animation is pretty good, but their theory doesn't work as well as the UM.


Ceres' brightest area, in the northern-hemisphere crater Occator, does not shine because of ice, but rather because of highly reflective salts. A new video produced by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Berlin simulates the experience of flying around this crater and exploring its topography. Occator's central bright region, which includes a dome with fractures, has recently been named Cerealia Facula. The crater's cluster of less reflective spots to the east of center is called Vinalia Faculae.
"The unique interior of Occator may have formed in a combination of processes that we are currently investigating," said Ralf Jaumann, planetary scientist and Dawn co-investigator at DLR. "The impact that created the crater could have triggered the upwelling of liquid from inside Ceres, which left behind the salts."