Ceres News

New SOFIA Observations Show Ceres’ True Composition

January 20, 2017

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Mid-infrared Data from SOFIA Shows Ceres’ True Composition

New SOFIA observations show the true composition of Ceres, revealing that it does not appear to have the carbon-rich surface composition that telescopes previously indicated. Using data primarily from NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, SOFIA, a team of astronomers has detected the presence of substantial amounts of material on the surface of Ceres that […]

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Dawn Probe Discovers Water Ice in Ceres’ Polar Region

January 2, 2017

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Dawn Spacecraft Discovers Water Ice in Ceres’ Polar Region

The Herschel Telescope and the Dawn Spacecraft have observed the release of water vapor from Ceres and the Dawn Spacecraft has discovered water ice in Ceres’ polar region. The American Dawn space probe has been orbiting the asteroid Ceres between Mars and Jupiter since March 2015. Thanks to the two identical onboard cameras from the […]

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New Image of Ceres from NASA’s Dawn Spacecraft

November 18, 2016

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New View of Ceres from Dawn Spacecraft

NASA’s Dawn Spacecraft views the shadowy, cratered terrain of Ceres in a dramatic new view of the dwarf planet. Dawn snapped this image on October 16, from its fifth science orbit, in which the angle of the sun was different from that in previous orbits. Dawn was about 920 miles (1,480 kilometers) above Ceres when […]

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NASA’s Dawn Spacecraft Views Craters Takel and Cozobi

November 17, 2016

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Dawn Spacecraft Views Craters Takel and Cozobi

This newly released image from NASA’s Dawn Spacecraft shows craters Takel and Cozobi on Ceres. The craters Takel and Cozobi are featured in this image of Ceres from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft. Takel is the young crater with bright material on the left of this image, and Cozobi is the sharply defined crater just below center. […]

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What’s Inside Ceres? New Research Suggests That Ceres Has a Weak Interior

August 8, 2016

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New Data Suggest That Ceres Has a Weak Interior

New research reveals that Ceres has a weak interior, and that water and other light materials partially separated from rock during a heating phase early in its history. In the tens of thousands of photos returned by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, the interior of Ceres isn’t visible. But scientists have powerful data to study Ceres’ inner […]

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Researchers Investigate the Lack of Large Impact Craters on Ceres

July 27, 2016

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The Missing Large Impact Craters on Ceres

Ceres’ lack of giant impact basins presents a puzzle to scientists. They expected to observe more large craters on the dwarf planet than have been found by NASA’s Dawn mission. Researchers are investigating a variety of processes that might have caused the appearance of the largest basins to be softened or erased over time. Ceres […]

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NASA’s Dawn Spacecraft Maps Ceres Craters Where Ice Can Accumulate

July 8, 2016

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Dawn Maps Ceres Craters Where Ice Can Accumulate

Using data from NASA’s Dawn Mission, astronomers have identified permanently shadowed regions on the dwarf planet Ceres. These areas are likely cold enough to have trapped water ice for a billion years, suggesting that ice deposits could exist there now. “The conditions on Ceres are right for accumulating deposits of water ice,” said Norbert Schorghofer, […]

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Recent Hydrothermal Activity May Explain Ceres’ Mysterious Bright Spots

June 30, 2016

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Study Shows Hydrothermal Activity May Explain Ceres' Brightest Area

New research reveals that the Occator Crater on Ceres has the highest concentration of carbonate minerals ever seen outside Earth. The brightest area on Ceres, located in the mysterious Occator Crater, has the highest concentration of carbonate minerals ever seen outside Earth, according to a new study from scientists on NASA’s Dawn mission. The study, […]

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NASA’s Dawn Spacecraft Completes Primary Mission

June 30, 2016

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Dawn Completes Primary Mission

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft completes its primary mission, exceeding all expectations. On June 30, just in time for the global celebration known as Asteroid Day, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft completes its primary mission. The mission exceeded all expectations originally set for its exploration of protoplanet Vesta and dwarf planet Ceres. The historic mission is the first to […]

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New Images Reveal More Details on Ceres’ Craters

April 19, 2016

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New Ceres Images Reveal Bright Craters

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has revealed marvelous sights on dwarf planet Ceres during its first year in orbit, including the mysterious bright spots in Occator Crater. Craters with bright material on dwarf planet Ceres shine in new images from NASA’s Dawn mission. In its lowest-altitude mapping orbit, at a distance of 240 miles (385 kilometers) from […]

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Dawn Spacecraft Reveals Bright Spots and Color Differences on Ceres

March 22, 2016

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Occator-Crater

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft reveals new images from the lowest orbit at Ceres, including highly-anticipated views of Occator Crater. NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has revealed marvelous sights on dwarf planet Ceres during its first year in orbit. Occator Crater, measuring 57 miles (92 kilometers) across and 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) deep, contains the brightest area on Ceres, […]

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New Observations Show Unexpected Changes of Bright Spots on Ceres

March 16, 2016

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New Observations Reveal Unexpected Changes of Bright Spots on Ceres

New observations of the bright spots on Ceres reveal daily changes on these spots, suggesting that they change under the influence of sunlight as Ceres rotates. Observations made using the HARPS spectrograph at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile have revealed unexpected changes in the bright spots on the dwarf planet Ceres. Although Ceres appears […]

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New Animation Shows a Simulated Flight Over the Surface of Dwarf Planet Ceres

February 1, 2016

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New Animation Takes a Colorful Flight Over Ceres

Take a flight over dwarf planet Ceres in this video made with images from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft. The simulated flyover was made by the mission’s camera team at Germany’s national aeronautics and space research center. A colorful new animation shows a simulated flight over the surface of dwarf planet Ceres, based on images from NASA’s […]

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Dawn Images Reveal New Details on Dwarf Planet Ceres

January 12, 2016

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Dawn ImagesShow New Details On Ceres

New images NASA’s Dawn Spacecraft reveal surface features of dwarf planet Ceres in exquisite detail. Dawn took these images near its current altitude of 240 miles (385 kilometers) from Ceres, between December 19 and 23, 2015. Kupalo Crater, one of the youngest craters on Ceres, shows off many fascinating attributes at the high image resolution […]

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New Images From Dawn’s Closest Orbit of Ceres

December 22, 2015

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New Images From Dawn's Closest Orbit

New images from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft provide a better look at the surface of Ceres. NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, cruising in its lowest and final orbit at dwarf planet Ceres, has delivered the first images from its best-ever viewpoint. The new images showcase details of the cratered and fractured surface. 3-D versions of two of these […]

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NASA Reveals New Clues about Ceres’ Bright Spots and Origins

December 10, 2015

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NASA Reveals New Clues to Ceres' Bright Spots and Origins

Dwarf planet Ceres is shown in these false-color renderings, which highlight differences in surface materials. Images from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft were used to create a movie of Ceres rotating, followed by a flyover view of Occator Crater, home of Ceres’ brightest area. Two newly published studies reveal that the bright spots on the dwarf planet […]

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What’s Creating Those Unusual Bright Spots on Ceres? Dawn Heads Toward Low-Altitude Mapping Orbit

October 27, 2015

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What's Creating Those Unusual Bright Spots on Ceres?

The Dawn Spacecraft begins its fourth and final science orbit at dwarf planet Ceres. Many hope this low-altitude mapping orbit will provide more information about the unusual bright spots on Ceres. NASA’s Dawn spacecraft fired up its ion engine on Friday, October 23, to begin its journey toward its fourth and final science orbit at […]

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Surface of Ceres Consists of Billions of Years Worth of Meteorite Material

October 16, 2015

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New Research Shows What Smacks into Ceres Stays on Ceres

A new set of high-velocity impact experiments from Brown University reveal that the dwarf planet Ceres may be something of a cosmic dartboard: Projectiles that slam into it tend to stick. The experiments, performed using the Vertical Gun Range at NASA’s Ames Research Center, suggest that when asteroids and other impactors hit Ceres, much of […]

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