Highest-Resolution Views Yet Reveal Ceres' Mysterious Bright Spots, Seemingly Comprised of Multiple ‘Icy Spots’

This image of Ceres was taken by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft on May 4, 2015, from a distance of 8,400 miles (13,600 kilometers), in its RC3 mapping orbit. The brightest spots within a crater in the northern hemisphere are revealed to be composed of many smaller spots. The image resolution is 0.8 mile (1.3 […]

NASA’s Dawn, Historic First Mission to Dwarf Planet Ceres, Achieves Orbit

Newest image of Ceres from Dawn Ceres is seen from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft on March 1, just a few days before the mission achieved orbit around the previously unexplored dwarf planet. The image was taken at a distance of about 30,000 miles (about 48,000 kilometers). Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft became humanity’s […]

First Mission to Dwarf Planet Set for Ceres Arrival, Sees Surprising 'Bright Spots' Beyond Compare

Ceres awaits Dawn with two totally unique bright spots inside crater. Ceres rotates in this sped-up movie comprised of images taken by NASA’s Dawn mission during its approach to the dwarf planet. The images were taken on Feb. 19, 2015, from a distance of nearly 29,000 miles (46,000 kilometers). Dawn observed Ceres for […]

Ceres Reveals Eye-Like Bright Spots, Mr. Spock Explains Dawn

This image was taken by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft of dwarf planet Ceres on Feb. 19 from a distance of nearly 29,000 miles (46,000 kilometers). It shows that the brightest spot on Ceres has a dimmer companion, which apparently lies in the same basin. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

A scientific mystery on dwarf planet Ceres—worthy of […]

Ceres Shows Mystifying Faces and Perplexing White Spots to NASA’s Dawn

Two mystifying faces of Ceres These two views of Ceres were acquired by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft on Feb. 12, 2015, from a distance of about 52,000 miles (83,000 kilometers) as the dwarf planet rotated. The images have been magnified from their original size. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

A fresh set of images of dwarf planet […]

Dawn’s Greatest Glimpse Yet of Ceres Hints at Startling Revelations Soon to Come

GIF animation of Ceres images taken by Dawn spacecraft on Jan. 13, 2015. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA/PSI

We’ve wondered about Ceres‘ nature and true identity for over two centuries, ever since it was discovered on New Year’s Day, 1801, by Giuseppe Piazzi of Italy. It’s been alternately classified as a planet, asteroid, and more recently […]

Coming Down the Home Stretch: New Horizons Begins Historic Long-Range Reconnaissance of Pluto, Prior to Closest Approach in July

Artist’s concept of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft as it passes by Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, in July 2015. Following its wake-up call from its hibernation late last year, the spacecraft has just entered the first leg of its approach phase to the Pluto system. Image Credit: NASA/JHU APL/SwRI/Steve Gribben

Nine years […]

Huge Prospects for Science and Humans to Mars: Conversation With Hubble Astronaut/NASA Science Chief John Grunsfeld (Part 2)

Launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis on STS-125 and the final servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope on May 11, 2009, from Launch Complex-39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: Ken Kremer – kenkremer.com

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL — “A great path” lies ahead for “science and launching humans to Mars,” […]

Cosmic Ray Hit Causes Small Delay at Dawn's Rendezvous With Ceres Early Next Year

An artist’s concept of NASA’s Dawn spacecraft exploring Vesta and Ceres in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Dawn had recently experienced an anomaly in its ion propulsion system resulting from a cosmic ray hit, which will cause a small delay to the spacecraft’s rendezvous with Ceres next year. Image Credit: NASA

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Comet or Asteroid? Herschel Space Observatory Detects Water Outgassing on Dwarf Planet Ceres

A team of astronomers using ESA’s Herschel Space Observatory have discovered clear signals of water vapour coming off Ceres. Image Credit: ESA/ATG medialab/Küppers et al.

A new study published online in the weekly scientific journal Nature on Jan. 22 reports on observations made by the Herschel Space Observatory of water vapour seen coming […]