Ceres has a huge amount of minerals containing water. All of them are able to hint at the presence of a global ocean in the past. What happened to him? Is there any liquid left? These questions are answered by two new studies.
Dawn's mission noted that the crust of a dwarf planet consists of ice, salts, and hydrated materials that have been subjected to past or recent geological activity. The second study is based on the first one and assumes that a softer deformable layer hides under the solid surface, which may signal oceanic debris.
More and more data suggests that Ceres is a complex and dynamic world with a huge water reserve in the past. What's inside the planet? Gravity will respond.
Planting a Ceres machine is difficult and there is a risk of infecting the object with terrestrial microbes. Therefore, scientists use the Dawn orbital unit to estimate gravity (allows you to understand the composition and internal structure).
Research confirms that Ceres remains geologically active and this could have manifested itself earlier.
On Ceres, there is a huge number of gravitational anomalies based on outstanding geological features. The density of the crust is low and closer to the ice than to stone. But the second study says that ice is too soft to be the dominant material. How can the bark be light but strong? To understand this, scientists have created a model of a developing object. Ocean fossils
Through the study of the evolution of the topography of the planetary body, researchers can understand the internal composition. The rock crust is able to remain stable for 4.5 billion years, while the ice and salt analogue will be deformed.
The model showed that we have a mixture of ice, salt, rock and, possibly, clathrate hydrate. This structure is 100-1000 times stronger than water ice. There is an assumption that earlier Ceres had more pronounced surface formations, which smoothed over time.
Now most of the ocean can be stored frozen and connected to the bark. It happened 4 billion years ago. But if the liquid remained, the ocean is not completely frozen.