DEC 13, 2017 09:25 AM PST

NASA's Dawn Spacecraft Sheds Light on Ceres' "Bright Spots"


If you were to glance at the dwarf planet Ceres, you'd see speckles of bright spots throughout its surface. Many of these reside inside of several of the spatial body's surface craters, and NASA's Dawn spacecraft is helping planetary scientists learn more about them.

The most substantial bright spot on Ceres' surface resides at the center of a crater and forms a small "dome"-shaped structure. NASA named this bright spot Cerealia Facula, but accumulatively refers to a host of other surrounding smaller bright spots as Vinalia Faculae.

From what we've gathered so far, it appears that an unknown internal process inside of Ceres produces enough energy to force subsurface liquid brines to the dwarf planet's surface. Once there, it freezes and forms an icy structure with approximately the same albedo as dirty snow here on Earth.

We have a lot to learn about these so-called bright spots, but further analyses by way of Dawn and future missions could shed some light into the mechanisms behind their formation.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
NOV 17, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 17, 2019
How Large Solar Storms Can Impact Earth's Power Grid
The Sun is a powerful ball of energy, and with that in mind, it should come as no surprise to anyone that it can sometimes become unstable. Over time, the...
NOV 17, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 17, 2019
Watch An Ant Colony Attack This Crab Like a Bunch of Savages
Ants have a particularly striking reputation for being somewhat relentless, and as it would seem, such a reputation doesn’t fetter even when the anim...
NOV 17, 2019
Cardiology
NOV 17, 2019
Find the Motivation to Exercise with Imagery
Those involved in professional sports have a lot on their plate. From fitting in intense regular workouts to getting adequate sleep, to eating a healthy di...
NOV 17, 2019
Earth & The Environment
NOV 17, 2019
Ready for Winter? NOAA's Winter Outlook is Here
Are you wondering what winter will look like in your region? Depending on where you live, you may be in for a mild season. Last week, the National Oceanic...
NOV 17, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 17, 2019
New Technologies Are Headed for the International Space Station
Space is hard, and for that reason, researchers are always trying to come up with new ways to make it easier. One of the best places for new technologies t...
NOV 17, 2019
Health & Medicine
NOV 17, 2019
Sherlock's DNA biosensors set to make diagnostics elementary
The anxious wait to receive results from expensive diagnostic laboratory tests could soon be a thing of the past thanks to a technological breakthrough. En...
Loading Comments...