Dawn data reveals mysterious bright spot on Ceres

#NASA #DawnSpacecraft #OccatorCrater #Ceres #dwarfplanet #space

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft sent back a remarkable image of the mysterious bright spot, that lies in the Occator Crater known as Cerealia Facula and is estimated to be nearly 4 million years old.

Scientists were able to support their earlier interpretations that the reflective material comprises the brightest area on all of Ceres and it is made of carbonate salts. The secondary, smaller bright areas of Occator, called Vinalia Faculae, are comprised of a mixture of carbonates and dark material.

Currently, the Dawn spacecraft will fly to an orbit at 12,400 miles and will view Ceres in late-Spring, with the Sun directly behind the spacecraft. By measuring details of the brightness of the salt deposits in this new geometry, scientists may gain even more insights into these captivating bright areas.

Read the full article here.

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