Ceres’ Permanent Shadows May House Relics From The Infant Solar System (Synopsis)

“Lots of science fiction deals with distant times and places. Intrepid prospectors in the Asteroid Belt. Interstellar epics. Galactic empires. Trips to the remote past or future.” -Edward M. Lerner

Of all the asteroids we’ve ever discovered, it’s arguably the very first one, Ceres, that’s got the most to teach us. Currently being mapped at higher and higher resolution by NASA’s Dawn Spacecraft, Ceres isn’t just the largest asteroid we’ve got, it’s also one of the least inclined, orbiting the Sun with a tilt of just 3 degrees.

Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / UCLA / MPS / DLR / IDA, from the DAWN mission.
Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / UCLA / MPS / DLR / IDA, from the DAWN mission.

This means, much like the Moon, that there’s a chance it has permanently shadowed craters at its poles, possibly containing volatile materials that have boiled off everywhere else on the world. Yet within these permanent shadows, relics from billions of years ago may still persist.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA, via http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA20126.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA, via http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA20126.

Come find out what might be in there on┬átoday’s Mostly Mute Monday!

2 thoughts on “Ceres’ Permanent Shadows May House Relics From The Infant Solar System (Synopsis)

  1. Ron,

    It works on my iPad both in Safari and Chrome. After a short while it continues from the “greeting page” to the Starts With A Bang page automatically but if I want to I can tap on “Continue to site>” to do the switch earlier. (In my case an iPad Air 2 running the iOS 9.1, if that is of any importance.)

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