Updated 02:08 PM EDT, Wed, Sep 22, 2021

NASA Spots Mysterious Radiance Between Mars & Jupiter!

  • +
  • -
  • Sign up to receive the lastest news from LATINONE

NASA's Dawn spacecraft is able to capture two bright spots in the dwarf planet Ceres, the NPR blog reported. As it turns out, the spots appeared brighter than any other region of the celestial body, at least according to recent images.

The source took note of Chris Russell's words, principal investigator for the Dawn mission at the UCLA, saying, "Ceres' bright spot can now be seen to have a companion of lesser brightness, but apparently in the same basin."

"This may be pointing to a volcanolike origin of the spots, but we will have to wait for better resolution before we can make such geologic interpretations." the researcher went on. Dawn is calculated to be 29,000 miles away when it took Ceres' shots.

The ice volcanoes, formally called cryovolcanoes, erupt water, ammonia or methane, instead of the molten lava we know here on Earth, News Ledge noted. 

A big mystery

According to NASACeres' brightest spot remains to be peculiar even to the camera team. Andreas Nathues, lead investigator of the framing camera team, expressed, "The brightest spot continues to be too small to resolve with our camera, but despite its size it is brighter than anything else on Ceres. This is truly unexpected and still a mystery to us."

For those who may not know, Ceres is situated between the Solar System's Mars and Jupiter, Fox News informed. Speculated to house massive amounts of ice, the planet is known to be the largest body found in the main asteroid belt, along with Vesta, which Dawn already visited from 2011 to 2012 according to NASA. 

Interestingly, Ceres is named after the Roman goddess of corn and harvests. In figures, Ceres is known to have an average diameter of 590 miles (950 kilometers). Vesta, on the other hand, spans 326 miles (525 kilometers), NASA wrote.

Dawn's next journey

According to Fox News, Dawn is set to get into the planet's orbit on Mar. 6. This could provide a much clearer insight as to what these spots are actually like -- and what causes such emission of bright light.

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is expected to land on Ceres by July 15, 2015, Popular Science reported.

At this point, Dawn's mission is managed by JPL for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington, NASA added.

For more information about the "embryonic planet," check this out. You can aslo visit the Dawn Mission's official site here.

© 2015 Latin One. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
  • Sign up to receive the lastest news from LATINONE


Real Time Analytics