In the family of dwarf planets of the solar system, Ceres can be called a kind of outcast or a loner. In addition, the classification took away from her the title of “largest” and now we have the smallest dwarf planet in the system.
We are looking for a missing planet
Ceres color review captured by Dawn in 2015
In 1772 the most popular was the Bode law (the Titius-Bode rule). It was a peculiar formula that roughly indicated the distances at which the solar planets should be located (average orbital radius). The discovery of Uranus in 1781 was in good agreement with the rule, which meant that the object was hiding between Mars and Jupiter.
Several groups were organized for the search, but the lucky astronomer from Italy Giuseppe Piazzi, who in 1801 found Ceres separately and quite by accident (initially looking for a star). True Piazzi thought that in front of him a comet. But to determine the true status was still far away.
Ceres and other major asteroids
The status of Ceres has been controversial for a long time. And this is not surprising, because the new data expanded the understanding of not only the solar system, but also the nature of its objects. The first in favor of planetary status was Johann Bode. He sincerely believed that this was a world not previously found, which, according to the formula, must live in this location.
Ceres received the corresponding designation in the catalog and almost 50 years it was treated as another planet. But let's not forget that the object is in the asteroid belt. Soon, scientists began to notice other objects. We decided to change the status again, but now to asteroid type. Instead of a tiny planet, Ceres was the largest asteroid. But this is not the end. Discussion of nature Pluto touched many objects, whose type had to be reconsidered. This also affected Ceres, who became the dwarf planet. It is interesting that even in the International Space Union they continue to get confused and write that for such objects sometimes they use double designation. Therefore, we can say that we face the largest asteroid and the smallest dwarf planet in the solar system at the same time.
Lonely dwarf resident
Internal structure of Ceres
Ceres performs one rotation around the Sun for 4.6 years with an average distance of 2.77 a. e. If you settled in this world, the duration of the day was only 9 hours and 4 minutes. Despite the confusion in status, Ceres remains the largest space body in the asteroid belt.
In size it covers 975 x 909 km, and in terms of massiveness it takes up only 1.3% of the moon (but is perceived as massive in the asteroid belt). Interestingly, these worlds are still completely alone, that is, there are no objects of this type nearby. The remaining known dwarf planets are located behind Neptune.
High-quality near shots and a detailed description of the dwarf planet was obtained in 2015 thanks to the NASA Dawn mission.
Interesting Facts about Ceres:
- The average surface temperature index ranges from -106 ° C to -33 ° C.
- Became the first dwarf planet to which the spaceship has called.
- The ice mantle is capable of containing about 200 million km 3 water (more fresh water than on Earth).
- There are suspicions of the presence of active cryovolcanoes emitting vaporous jets.
- There is an opinion about the presence of a weak atmosphere with water vapor.
- Bright white spots were found in one of the craters. Ice or salt is suspected as a material.
- It is possible that we have a surviving protoplanet, which managed to survive during the formation and active collisions 4.57 billion years ago.
Photos of Ceres
Crater Hau on Ceres
Dawn managed to capture this image of the large crater Gau located on Ceres. Hau was a goddess in Germany who was sacrificed at the time of gathering rye. The center of the crater formation is full. The diameter covers 84 km, and the resolution is 140 m per pixel. The image was received on August 18, 2015 at a distance of 1,470 km. Dawn is responsible for the mission of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Part of a more global Discovery project.
This photo of Ceres in high resolution shows the crater Djuling with a depth of 2.5 km. On the left, there is a small mountain with a height of 1 km. Many formations hint at the flow of material and the presence of ice stocks under the surface layer. At the top of the mountain a slight depression is noticeable, the origin of which is not yet known. Perhaps the whole thing in a landslide. The apparatus succeeded in capturing this view on August 25, 2016 at an altitude of 385 km (36 degrees south. Sh. And 167 degrees e.). Juling is a spirit in the culture of Malaysia. Dawn is responsible for the mission of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Part of a more global Discovery project.
Kupalo Crater on Ceres
A Kupalo Ceres crater is displayed on the image obtained by the NASA Dawn unit. This is one of the most young crater formations on the dwarf planet. It is endowed with bright material centered on the rim and walls that can be layered. Stripes at the bottom could form due to melting after impact and debris accumulation. Extends a width of 26 km and is located in the southern middle latitudes. The name is given in honor of the god of vegetation and harvest from the Slavs. Dawn is responsible for the mission of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Part of a more global Discovery project. Craters Takel and Kozobi
Dawn succeeded in capturing Takel and Kozobi craters located on Ceres. The first is a young formation associated with bright material (left), and the second is a clear trail of impact (below the center). Dawn is responsible for the mission of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Part of a more global Discovery project.
Occator in false color
The Occater snapshot in false color demonstrates the difference in surface composition. Red corresponds to the wave range of 0.97 micrometers (IR), green - 0.75 (red), blue - 0.44 (blue). The crater extends over 90 km. Researchers use a false color to see differences in surface materials. Usually, the blue color on Ceres indicates 130 bright spots and hints at the presence of salts. The device performed a review at a distance of 4,400 km. Dawn is responsible for the mission of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Part of a more global Discovery project.
Occator on Ceres Limbus
This image shows the edge of the dwarf planet Ceres with the territory of the northern hemisphere. The majestic crater Occator is striking the eye. It stretches for 92 km and deepens for 4 km. This is the clearest evidence of recent geological activity. The analysis shows that the internal material is represented by salt. It remained after the fine liquid passed through the freezing, and then sublimated (from ice to vapor). The image was obtained by the device Dawn on October 17 at a distance of 1,480 km. The resolution is 140 m per pixel. Dawn is responsible for the mission of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Part of a more global Discovery project.
This image was obtained by the Dawn device on April 14-15 at an altitude of 22000 km, displaying the northern section under sunlight. On April 23, the mechanism entered the circular orbital path. The bright feature is called “spot 5” - these are two bright spots located close to each other. The image scale is 2.1 km per pixel, and the angle of the Sun-Ceres apparatus is 91 degrees. Dawn is responsible for the mission of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Acts as part of a more global Discovery program. Northern Hemisphere Ceres
On June 6, 2015, Dawn managed to fix craters on the north side of the dwarf planet Ceres. This is one of the first frames from the second orbital passage at an altitude of 4400 km with a resolution of 410 m per pixel. Dawn is responsible for the mission of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Part of a more global Discovery project.
Ceres in color
The image shows Ceres in color that is perceived by the human eye. The survey was created in the German Aerospace Center (Berlin), combining frames from Dawn, obtained in 2015 using red, green and blue spectral filters. For the mission of Dawn responsible NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The project is part of the Discovery program, where responsibility is placed on UCLA.
Southern Hemisphere Ceres
On June 6, 2015, Dawn's mission managed to capture this large crater in the southern hemisphere of the dwarf planet Ceres. It can be noted a huge number of different formations created by shock events. The device is located at an altitude of 4400 km, and the resolution - 410 m per pixel. Dawn is responsible for the mission of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Part of a more global Discovery project.
Bright spots on the second cartographic orbit of Ceres
On June 6, 2015, Dawn was able to capture the two brightest spots of Ceres. Made at an altitude of 4400 km, where the resolution reaches 410 m per pixel. Scientists are still trying to understand the nature of these spots. There is an assumption that the composition contains salt and ice. Dawn is responsible for the mission of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Part of a more global Discovery project.
The Brightest Spots and Crater Occator
The crater Occator is 92 km in diameter and has a depth of 4 km. Inside it is the brightest area in Ceres. A close-up from the Dawn vehicle shows the dome in the smooth center of the crater. Linear formations and fractures stretch upward and diverge laterally. Also around are visible faults, moving to more striking areas. The frame is made of two images created at a shorter exposure. It allows you to reveal the details of bright objects. The photos were taken by a LAMO camera at an altitude of 385 km above Ceres. Dawn is responsible for the mission of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Part of a more global Discovery project.
Due to the presence of the atmosphere and traces of water activity, there are suspicions that there once could be life on Ceres. However, scientists do not undertake to unwind this idea and concentrate more on Mars or Europe. However, Ceres is still considered as a possible colony.
An idea is already being developed to form a base in its orbit. But the colonists will have difficulty without the usual amount of sunlight and the absence of a magnetic field. But the dwarf planet will provide us with a decent supply of air and hydrogen, which can be used in the manufacture of rocket fuel.