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Dawn Finds Possible Ancient Ocean Remnants at Ceres

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Fri Oct 27, 2017 10:20 am

Minerals containing water are widespread on Ceres, suggesting the dwarf planet may have had a global ocean in the past. What became of that ocean? Could Ceres still have liquid today? Two new studies from NASA's Dawn mission shed light on these questions.

The Dawn team found that Ceres' crust is a mixture of ice, salts and hydrated materials that were subjected to past and possibly recent geologic activity, and that this crust represents most of that ancient ocean. The second study builds off the first and suggests there is a softer, easily deformable layer beneath Ceres' rigid surface crust, which could be the signature of residual liquid left over from the ocean, too.

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Fri Oct 27, 2017 10:22 am

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Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

This animation shows dwarf planet Ceres as seen by NASA's Dawn. The map overlaid at right gives scientists hints about Ceres' internal structure from gravity measurements.

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Fri Oct 27, 2017 10:24 am



NASA says there may have been a global ocean on Ceres in the past.

 
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