Ceres (minor-planet designation: 1 Ceres) is a dwarf planet in the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Originally considered a planet, it was reclassified as an asteroid in the 1850s after the discovery of dozens of other objects in similar orbits. In 2006, it was reclassified again as a dwarf planet – the only one always inside Neptune’s orbit – because, at 940 km (580 mi) in diameter, it is the only asteroid large enough for its gravity to maintain it as a spheroid in hydrostatic equilibrium. — Wikipedia
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- NASA's Psyche asteroid mission: A 3.6 billion...on October 18, 2023 at 4:11 pm
Psyche was the Greek goddess of the soul, born a mere mortal and later married to Eros, the God of love. Who knows why the Italian astronomer Annibale de Gasparis gave her name to a celestial object he observed one night in 1852?
- Hypervelocity impact experiments probe the origin...on October 16, 2023 at 4:07 pm
One of the most exciting findings from NASA's Dawn mission is that Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt that lies between Mars and Jupiter, hosts complex organics. The discovery of aliphatic molecules, which consist of carbon and hydrogen chains, in conjunction with evidence that Ceres has abundant water ice and may have been an ocean world, means this dwarf planet might have once […]
- We could get large amounts of water from the moon...on July 19, 2023 at 6:51 pm
One of the most commonly discussed challenges when starting our species' space exploration journey is how to get the resources necessary for life off of the Earth. Typically this is thought of as two things—water and oxygen, but, luckily, oxygen can be supplied by splitting apart a water molecule, so the most critical resource we could find in space is water.
- Five incredible craters that will make you fall...on June 5, 2023 at 6:08 pm
Impact cratering happens on every solid body in the solar system. In fact, it is the dominant process affecting the surfaces on most extraterrestrial bodies today.
- Unknown class of water-rich asteroids identifiedon February 20, 2023 at 5:45 pm
New astronomical measurements in the infrared range have led to the identification of a heretofore unknown class of asteroids. An international research team including geoscientists from Heidelberg University has succeeded in characterizing these small planets using infrared spectroscopy.
- A hybrid fission/fusion reactor could be the best...on January 17, 2023 at 6:25 pm
In the coming years, NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) will send two robotic missions to explore Jupiter's icy moon Europa. These are none other than NASA's Europa Clipper and the ESA's Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE), which will launch in 2024, and 2023 (respectively). Once they arrive by the 2030s, they will study Europa's surface with a series of flybys to determine if its interior […]
- 30,000 near-Earth asteroids discovered, and...on October 13, 2022 at 2:22 pm
We have now discovered 30,039 near-Earth asteroids in the solar system—rocky bodies orbiting the sun on a path that brings them close to Earth's orbit. The majority of these were discovered in the last decade, showing how our ability to detect potentially risky asteroids is rapidly improving.
- Is Pluto a planet? It is no longer considered...on August 31, 2022 at 6:31 pm
Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Subject to memorization in school and known as the definitive planetary lineup, Pluto was included in the list until the International Astronomical Union determined it did not meet qualifications in 2006.
- Modeling reveals how dwarf planet Ceres powers...on August 1, 2022 at 1:37 pm
For a long time, our view of Ceres was fuzzy, said Scott King, a geoscientist in the Virginia Tech College of Science. A dwarf planet and the largest body found in the asteroid belt—the region between Jupiter and Mars speckled with hundreds of thousands of asteroids—Ceres had no distinguishable surface features in existing telescopic observations from Earth.
- Ceres probably formed farther out in the solar...on May 19, 2022 at 2:55 pm
When Sicilian astronomer Giuseppe Piazzi spotted Ceres in 1801, he thought it was a planet. Astronomers didn't know about asteroids at that time. Now we know there's an enormous quantity of them, primarily residing in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
Here are links to pages about closely related subjects.
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