Whaa? Now there's a second bright light on dwarf planet Ceres
The latest images from NASA's Dawn spacecraft reveal a second mysterious bright spot on the surface of Ceres. Perhaps it's a giant Ceresian welcome sign?
So what's going on here? Metallic mineral deposits? The local ice skating rink on an improbably shiny frozen lake in the bottom of a huge crater? A giant Ceresian mirror or solar farm?
The answer is...we have no idea.
"Ceres' bright spot can now be seen to have a companion of lesser brightness, but apparently in the same basin. This may be pointing to a volcano-like origin of the spots, but we will have to wait for better resolution before we can make such geologic interpretations," said UCLA's Chris Russell, principal investigator for the Dawn mission, in a statement Wednesday.
In the coming months, those strange bright spots should come more into focus, as should the underlying nature of Ceres, which many believe may be hiding more freshwater than we have here on Earth.
Photo: AFP handout-NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA