The remote parts of the solar system have always interested humanity. That is why NASA is constantly sending its missions there. So, recently, clearer photographs of the surface of the mysterious Ceres were received, and its landscape sparked a debate in scientific circles.
A small reference: Ceres is the largest body, both in mass and size in the asteroid belt (its main part, according to scientists, consists of ice).
Recently, better-quality images of this small galactic body have been published by the interplanetary station Dawn, in which spots are clearly visible, the nature of which, for many, remains a mystery. Among all versions, the main place is occupied by the theory that the formations were the result of a blow from the outside, which provoked the exposure of an underground layer of ice. Among the alternative versions, the popular idea is that these are just large deposits of salt, which from a height have the appearance of white spots.
In September 2007, the Dawn mission was sent into space to get closer to such celestial bodies as Ceres and Vesta. Vesta Dawn studied from its orbit from summer 2011 to autumn 2012, then went to Ceres orbit and in March of this year, achieved its goal. Dawn was the first to rotate in the orbit of two objects that are not in the Earth-Moon system. Studying Ceres, Dawn will be until the summer of 2016, each time descending lower and lower, and it is planned that while doing his last photo report of this planet, he will descend to an altitude of 375 km (the pictures taken a few days ago were at an altitude of 4, 4 thousand km above the surface). In addition to spots, the probe filmed other features of Ceres, which are now being actively studied.
Already in August of this year, the probe will descend to the surface of the planet, to an altitude of 1,450 km. And then, scientists will be able to make clearer conclusions on what the mysterious spots are. So far, it remains to guess the nature of the origin of the spots and wait for more detailed images.
Cryovolcanism or ice, or maybe something else ...