At last, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has solved the mystery of Ceres’s bright spot. On 4th May, the spacecraft captured incredible images of Ceres.
NASA’s dawn spacecraft is the first one to visit Ceres and Vesta. Thus far, the space probe has successfully completed its first orbit around Ceres.
The recent images were snapped from a distance of around 8,400 miles (13,600 kilometers). Up till now, it is the closest view of the largest object of asteroid belt. The images come with a resolution of 0.8 mile per pixel. It shows that the bright spots on Ceres are composed of numerous small spots. But, scientists are still analyzing the images to determine the nature of these spots.
Christopher Russell, lead investigator at the University of California, discusses the outcome of the study. He states that dawn mission scientists are still uncertain regarding the nature of bright spots. However, initial analysis indicates that the luminous spots on Ceres are an outcome of reflection. The icy surface of Ceres reflects sunlight which produces image of bright spots.
Earlier, scientists believed that the bright spots are the result of volcanic activity. However, the recent images completely rebuff all the previous assumption. It offers significant detail about Ceres.