Saturday, July 4, 2015

Don't know yet

Here's a link to a discussion of what the Dawn satellite, circling the asteroid Ceres, learned and what it's going to do next.

Dawn Journal, June 29

A couple of crumbs to follow:

"And what marvels Dawn has beheld! How can you not be mesmerized by the luminous allure of the famous bright spots? They are not, in fact, a source of light, but for a reason that remains elusive, the ground there reflects much more sunlight than elsewhere. Still, it is easy to imagine them as radiating a light all their own, summoning space travelers from afar, beckoning the curious and the bold to venture closer in return for an attractive reward."


"In addition to evidence of aging and renewal, some powerful internal forces have uplifted mountains. One particularly striking structure is a steep cone that juts three miles (five kilometers) high in an otherwise relatively smooth area, looking to an untrained (but transfixed) eye like a volcanic cone, a familiar sight on your home planet (or, at least, on mine). No other isolated, prominent protuberance has been spotted on Ceres."

Much more to learn. But now Dawn takes a break and lets the New Horizons Pluto flyby take the spotlight.

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