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

The semi-reusable Space Shuttle operated from 1981 to 2011. The crew was carried in the Orbiter vehicle, which returned to Earth like an aeroplane and was re-flown. The large External Tank was expendable, as were the two Solid Rocket Boosters. Astronautics

Spaceflight revolution on a shoestring

Astronautics

The promise of space-based LiDAR