Cosma Home > Communication > Knowledge > Realm > Physical > Universe > Solar System > Ceres


Note: This is a 360° Video — press and hold to explore it!

Dawn Mission: Ceres (NASA/JPL)
Dawn Mission (NASA/JPL)
Dawn Spacecraft (Wikipedia)



Physical Realm
Universe Astronomical Instrument
Galaxy Milky Way, Andromeda
Planetary System Star, Brown Dwarf, Planet, Moon

Solar System Sun
Terrestrial Planet Mercury, Venus, Earth (Moon), Mars
Asteroid Belt Ceres, Vesta
Jovian Planet Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
Trans-Neptunian Object
Kuiper Belt Pluto, Haumea, Makemake
Scattered Disc Eris, Sedna, Planet X
Oort Cloud Etc. Scholz’s Star
Small Body Comet, Centaur, Asteroid


These are organized by a classification scheme developed exclusively for Cosma. More…



Solar System Exploration: Ceres (NASA)


Ceres is the largest object in the asteroid belt that lies between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, slightly closer to Mars’ orbit. Its diameter is approximately 945 kilometers (587 miles), making it the largest of the minor planets within the orbit of Neptune. It is the 33rd-largest known body in the Solar System and the only dwarf planet within the orbit of Neptune. Ceres is composed of rock and ice and is estimated to comprise approximately one third of the mass of the entire asteroid belt. Ceres is the only object in the asteroid belt known to be rounded by its own gravity (though detailed analysis was required to exclude 4 Vesta). From Earth, the apparent magnitude of Ceres ranges from 6.7 to 9.3, peaking once every 15 to 16 months, hence even at its brightest it is too dim to be seen with the naked eye except under extremely dark skies.

Ceres was the first asteroid to be discovered (by Giuseppe Piazzi at Palermo Astronomical Observatory on 1 January 1801). It was originally considered a planet, but was reclassified as an asteroid in the 1850s after many other objects in similar orbits were discovered.

Ceres appears to be differentiated into a rocky core and an icy mantle, and may have a remnant internal ocean of liquid water under the layer of ice. The surface is a mixture of water ice and various hydrated minerals such as carbonates and clay. In January 2014, emissions of water vapor were detected from several regions of Ceres. This was unexpected because large bodies in the asteroid belt typically do not emit vapor, a hallmark of comets.

The robotic NASA spacecraft Dawn entered orbit around Ceres on 6 March 2015. Pictures with a resolution previously unattained were taken during imaging sessions starting in January 2015 as Dawn approached Ceres, showing a cratered surface. — Wikipedia

Encyclopædia Britannica





WorldCat, Library of Congress, UPenn Online Books, Open Library



Planets and Dwarf Planets (Ask an Astronomer, Cornell University)



International Astronomical Union (IAU)
Minor Planet Center (International Astronomical Union)
The Planetary Society


Phys.org, NPR Archives








Phys.org - latest science and technology news stories Phys.org internet news portal provides the latest news on science including: Physics, Nanotechnology, Life Sciences, Space Science, Earth Science, Environment, Health and Medicine.

  • Direct observations confirm that humans are...
    on March 26, 2021 at 11:09 am

    Earth is on a budget—an energy budget. Our planet is constantly trying to balance the flow of energy in and out of Earth's system. But human activities are throwing that off balance, causing our planet to warm in response.

  • New machine learning theory raises questions...
    on February 12, 2021 at 2:30 pm

    A novel computer algorithm, or set of rules, that accurately predicts the orbits of planets in the solar system could be adapted to better predict and control the behavior of the plasma that fuels fusion facilities designed to harvest on Earth the fusion energy that powers the sun and stars.

  • Physicist proposes human-populated mega-satellite...
    on January 20, 2021 at 1:10 pm

    Physicist Pekka Janhunen with the Finnish Meteorological Institute has developed a novel idea to colonize a place other than the Earth—and it is not the moon or Mars. Instead, Janhunen is suggesting in a paper posted on the arXiv preprint server that humans populate a giant satellite that orbits Ceres, a dwarf planet in the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars.

  • Study finds meteoric evidence for a previously...
    on December 21, 2020 at 3:00 pm

    A Southwest Research Institute-led team of scientists has identified a potentially new meteorite parent asteroid by studying a small shard of a meteorite that arrived on Earth a dozen years ago. The composition of a piece of the meteorite Almahata Sitta (AhS) indicates that its parent body was an asteroid roughly the size of Ceres, the largest object in the main asteroid belt, and formed in the presence of water under intermediate temperatures and pressures.

  • Smart collar to track your pet in real-time
    on November 5, 2020 at 11:52 am

    CSIRO's Data61, the digital specialist arm of Australia's national science agency, announced today it is developing a prototype smart pet collar in collaboration with agtech company Ceres Tag, that will enable pet owners to accurately track the location of their animal from a short and long distance, filling a gap in the smart collar market.