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Topic: Hexahydrite

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft data reveals new insights into Dwarf Planet Ceres’ Bright Spots

 

Written by Elizabeth Landau
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Ceres reveals some of its well-kept secrets in two new studies in the journal Nature, thanks to data from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft. They include highly anticipated insights about mysterious bright features found all over the dwarf planet’s surface.

In one study, scientists identify this bright material as a kind of salt. The second study suggests the detection of ammonia-rich clays, raising questions about how Ceres formed.

This representation of Ceres' Occator Crater in false colors shows differences in the surface composition. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA)

This representation of Ceres’ Occator Crater in false colors shows differences in the surface composition. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA)

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