(ORDO NEWS) — Here is the impact crater Occator, which sits on the surface of the dwarf planet Ceres, in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter . The crater has a diameter of 92 kilometers and its depth reaches four kilometers.
Bright white spots – common salt (sodium carbonate and bicarbonate), which was “squeezed” from the bowels of Ceres during a collision with a large meteorite.
Mysterious white spots
The detailed images, as well as the dataset, were captured by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft , which is the only probe to have visited the asteroid belt to study large objects, including Ceres.
Having received the first pictures, planetary scientists immediately assumed that the bright spot was salt, which appeared as a result of the evaporation of subsurface water melted during the impact.
That all changed on July 21, 2015, when Christopher Russell, Dawn Mission Leader, spoke at a scientific conference at the Ames Center in California.
He informed colleagues that fog rises over the spots every morning, filling half of the crater. This, as further studies showed, is due to the sublimation of water ice that regularly comes out to the surface in the area of spots.
What does all this say?
And that under the surface of Ceres is a salty ocean of liquid water! From “earthly experience” we know that water is the basis of life, therefore it is possible that it is on Ceres that primitive forms of life will be found.
In addition, Dawn recorded huge reserves of organic matter on the surface of Ceres, which scientists did not even suspect. So the chances are really great.
Ceres is an amazing world that must be visited again, but on a fundamentally new level in order to unravel the secrets of this dwarf planet.
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