10 September 2015 News

Ceres Occator crater: bright spots as you’ve never seen them before

New close-up images of Ceres, recently released by NASA’s Dawn mission, show its in greatest detail yet.

Detailed images of the Occator crater on Ceres, which contains the bright spots, as well as oblique views of the crater and animations, have been released to the public.

Widespread speculation as to why these bright spots exist meanwhile continues. They could be salt or ice deposits, volcanic eruptions, or the result of an impact that exposed newer, brighter material below Ceres’ surface.

Conspiracy theories suggesting the possibility of remnants of an alien civilisation were also fuelled by this strange feature on Ceres – but that is typical for any large-scale, unexpected astronomical discovery.

Meanwhile, you can read more about the Dawn mission in this feature in ROOM by Dawn Chief Engineer Marc Rayman.

Popular articles

Popular articles

Environment

Using space-based data for humanitarian causes

A panorama combining images from NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover shows diverse geological textures on Mount Sharp. Science

Could salty brines be the key to microbial life on Mars?

The setting sun glints off the Amazon river and numerous lakes in its floodplain in this photograph from the ISS. Environment

Monitoring illegal rainforest deforestation