Ceres’ Bright Patches Still Has NASA Stumped (Video)

The bright spots on Ceres seen by the Dawn spacecraft. (IMAGE: NASA/JPL-CALTECH/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA)

 By Miriam KramerMashable, SouthFloridaReporter.com, Sept. 12, 2015 – The strange bright spots on the dwarf planet Ceres are coming into focus, and well, the reflective splotches are still mysterious.

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft got its closest-yet look at the light patches in Ceres’ Occator crater from its new orbit, which brings it only 915 miles from the dwarf planet’s surface.

The strange bright spots on the dwarf planet Ceres are coming into focus, and well, the reflective splotches are still mysterious.

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft got its closest-yet look at the light patches in Ceres’ Occator crater from its new orbit, which brings it only 915 miles from the dwarf planet’s surface.

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New data suggests the Occator crater is almost vertical in some places, rising steeply for about 1 mile, NASA said.

Even from this relatively close distance, experts still aren’t sure what is causing the bright spots. But scientists working with the mission are confident they will figure it out soon.

“Dawn has transformed what was so recently a few bright dots into a complex and beautiful, gleaming landscape,” Marc Rayman, Dawn’s chief engineer and mission director, said in a statement.
https://youtu.be/lK03byyCFVs

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