Ceres: Mysterious spots on the dwarf planet

36839x 01. 03. 2015 2 readers

The Dawn probe is relentlessly approaching the dwarf planet Ceres. In her last month's journey, she had made images sharper than Hubble's telescopes. But the latest picture surprised everyone. Not that we find the oceans with a lively life, but two peculiar bright points of a high albedo (reflection of sunlight).

19.Form 2015 was the Dawn probe distant from 46 000 km from Ceres and the pictures were taken at that time.

Explanation of the origins of these two spots can be from the active volcano (nothing special in our solar system, see Jupiter moon Io or nitrogen geysers on the Neptune Moon Triton), but it can also be a high concentration of ice or rock reflecting a high percentage of light types of glass, volcanic rock, etc.). To identify the origin of these spots, the Dawn is far away.

Journey to orbit

Ceres and Vest are the two most massive bodies in the main asteroid belt
On 6. March 2015 using my ion drive system Dawn will be brought into orbit around the cherry. The principle of the Dawn's ion engine is that it accelerates the ionized xenon atoms out into the interplanetary environment, thus creating movement of the object (probes) through action and reaction law. For the next 16 months, scientists from the University of California, Los Angeles, will have a better and better view of the geological structures of the dwarf planet. They hope to gain deeper knowledge of Ceres's emergence and subsequent development.

A visit to Vesta
Dawn's son 2011-2012 visited the giant asteroid (asteroid) Vesta and brought a lot of information about this remarkable planet. She took 30 000 images of the asteroid surface. It also carried out invaluable measurements that allowed us to understand in greater detail the geological history of the third largest asteroid planet between Mars and Jupiter.

The mean diameter of the Vestas is 525 km, while Ceres, the largest object in the main asteroid belt, has a 950 km. Ceres and Vest are the two most massive bodies in the main belt of asteroids, and the third largest massif of the Pallas has only a slightly larger dimension than the Vesta.

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3 comments on "Ceres: Mysterious spots on the dwarf planet"

  • MarHor MarHor says:

    Just for the sake of interest. A skeptic has recently written disbelief about ion drive.
    Not only is the above-mentioned Sonda Dawn, but also Eutelsat 155 and ABS 3A - two satellites conveyed by 2. March on a runway geostationary. The satellites, which are the first telecommunication satellites in history, have only ion engines.
    It will not take so long and these engines will be used in rockets with human crew.

    • S. S. says:

      I would just add that the ion engine movement on those satellites is 0,165 Newton.

      In human-crewed satellites, it would be very useful for stabilization.

      But in missiles with people flying outside of Earth, it's quite controversial. I estimate that those communication satellites from GTO to GEO will be raked using their ion engines for at least half a year (fix me if I'm wrong).

      I'm not sure if this speed would suit people (for example, due to the multiple passage of radiation bands).

      Personally, I think the plasma engines have a bigger chance at the pilot years. At least until the pundits have put a super-powerful cosmic nuclear reactor into the cluster.

      • M says:

        Specifically, 8 months. Where we depend on flight time, where absolute performance is concerned, of course, ion engines are inapplicable. And for piloted flights at that time, it really matters.
        At a probe where we really do not care if GEO is going to be a week or 8 months, the ion engine is a benefit in reducing weight or cost. To infer from this that it somehow directs the use of ion engines as propulsion for pilots, is unjustified.

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