Midnight In The Desert — Ceres

NASA's closest-ever Ceres photos reveal more odd shapes

Posted by K R on

NASA's closest-ever Ceres photos reveal more odd shapes

NASA's ever-closer inspection of Ceres may have answered some questions, but not all of them... if anything, it might raise a few more. The agency has published its closest-ever photos (240 miles above the surface) of the dwarf planet, and they're revealing details that would have been hard to imagine from further away. Take the crater you see above, for example. It's full of strange, crease-like slopes that researchers believe are the result of collapses while the crater formed. Other snapshots show cracks, probably formed by melting from impacts, and the material (likely salt) that produces Ceres' signature bright spots....

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Pluto, Mars water and more! The biggest space stories of 2015

Posted by K R on

Pluto, Mars water and more! The biggest space stories of 2015

The year that was 2015 swept in a significant amount of space and astronomy science. NASA's New Horizons probe reached Pluto after a decade of travel across interplanetary space, exploring the most well-known dwarf planet. But this wasn't the only great solar system story this year; Ceres, Mars and the moons of Saturn also revealed their secrets. Exoplanets abounded, and discoveries swept in from the far reaches of the universe. Hello, Pluto! NASA's New Horizons made history in July as it zoomed by Pluto, passing within 7,800 miles (12,500 kilometers) of the dwarf planet's icy surface. The mission revealed a...

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New photos from dwarf planet Ceres show new details of a ″pyramid″

Posted by K R on

New photos from dwarf planet Ceres show new details of a ″pyramid″

New photos from NASA's space probe Dawn, sent from the surface of the dwarf planet Ceres, have revealed some new details that have researchers positively puzzled. Of particular interest is the strange pyramid-shaped mountain with a flat top, and the bright, striped area seen in this photo. "What we're looking at is something we've never seen anywhere else in the entire Solar System," said Ralf Jaumann, principle investigator on the Mars Express at the German Center for Air and Spaceflight (DLR) in Cologne. The "Dawn" is now only 1,470 kilometers above Ceres's surface, researchers at the DLR said, much closer...

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