The Strange Surface of Ceres

The Strange Surface of Ceres

The gravity of Ceres has pleasantly rounded it unlike many of the smaller bodies in the asteroid belt. Dawn returned high resolution mapping of the surface of Ceres and revealed a heavily cratered surface but unlike our Moon it does not have many very large craters. In the outer solar system, cryovolcanism occurs when liquid water or water vapour reaches the surface from depth. These “bright spots” represent areas of high albedo, or light reflectivity, and indicate unusual materials on the surface. It is believed that these “bright spots” represent places where brine has reached the surface.

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