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Solar System Sun
Terrestrial Planet Mercury, Venus, Earth (Moon), Mars
Asteroid Belt Ceres, Vesta
Jovian Planet Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
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…
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
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Insulating crust kept cryomagma liquid for...
on February 12, 2019 at 8:05 pm
A recent NASA mission to the dwarf planet Ceres found brilliant, white spots of salts on its surface. New research led by The University of Texas at Austin in partnership with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) delved into the factors that influenced the volcanic activity that formed the distinctive spots and that could play a key role in mixing the ingredients for life on other worlds. […]
Steam-propelled spacecraft prototype can...
on January 11, 2019 at 2:25 pm
Using steam to propel a spacecraft from asteroid to asteroid is now possible, thanks to a collaboration between a private space company and the University of Central Florida. […]
Team finds evidence for carbon-rich surface on...
on December 10, 2018 at 4:00 pm
A team led by Southwest Research Institute has concluded that the surface of dwarf planet Ceres is rich in organic matter. Data from NASA's Dawn spacecraft indicate that Ceres's surface may contain several times the concentration of carbon than is present in the most carbon-rich, primitive meteorites found on Earth. […]
Geosciences researchers will use data from new...
on November 21, 2018 at 2:50 pm
When NASA's new InSight lander touches down on Mars on Nov. 26 to begin new explorations of the Red Planet's interior structure, Virginia Tech's Scott King will be anxiously awaiting the first feedback of data. […]
Cosmic detective work: Why we care about space...
on November 8, 2018 at 12:16 pm
The entire history of human existence is a tiny blip in our solar system's 4.5-billion-year history. No one was around to see planets forming and undergoing dramatic changes before settling in their present configuration. In order to understand what came before us—before life on Earth and before Earth itself—scientists need to hunt for clues to that mysterious distant past. […]