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Space & Astronomy

'Pyramid-shaped' mountain found on Ceres

By T.K. Randall
June 25, 2015 · Comment icon 60 comments

The pyramid-like mountain appears to be the only one of its kind on Ceres. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
NASA's Dawn spacecraft has identified an anomalous structure on the surface of the dwarf planet.
The largest object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, Ceres has been no stranger to mystery and intrigue since photographs of it were first posted online.

Chief among its more unusual features are its bright spots which, having mystified experts during the approach of the Dawn spacecraft earlier this year, are now believed to be the result of surface ice glistening in the sunlight.

The latest images taken of the dwarf planet have also revealed what looks like a pyramid-shaped mountain that stands out like a sore thumb against its otherwise predominantly flat landscape.
Measuring approximately one mile in height it isn't clear what the object is or how it got there.

"The surface of Ceres has revealed many interesting and unique features," said mission deputy principle investigator Carol Raymond.

"For example, icy moons in the outer solar system have craters with central pits, but on Ceres central pits in large craters are much more common. These and other features will allow us to understand the inner structure of Ceres that we cannot sense directly."

Source: First Post | Comments (60)




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Comment icon #51 Posted by Astra- 9 years ago
Regarding the reflective nature of "The Ceres Mound" as potentially being ice and snow, is an atmosphere required to create that much reflective moisture so that is can be photographed from space? I'm not sure if there is any snow per se on the mountain - but the reflective streaks on it may possibly have the same elements in it - that causes the same mysterious glow - as the mass of bright spots do in the crater. I don't know if it has anything to do with a moist atmosphere that may enable the reflection. It is an interesting question though - I hope someone else can answer it. Those dark spo... [More]
Comment icon #52 Posted by Merc14 9 years ago
I'm not sure if there is any snow per se on the mountain - but the reflective streaks on it may possibly have the same elements in it - that causes the same mysterious glow - as the mass of bright spots do in the crater. I don't know if it has anything to do with a moist atmosphere that may enable the reflection. It is an interesting question though - I hope someone else can answer it. I have no idea. We may know more - when New Horizons fly's past Pluto on the 14th July - [Maybe in the Pluto thread] Interesting days ahead huh ? Edit to add - I just found this interesting article - thanks to N... [More]
Comment icon #53 Posted by ShadowSot 9 years ago
Regarding the reflective nature of "The Ceres Mound" as potentially being ice and snow, is an atmosphere required to create that much reflective moisture so that is can be photographed from space? No, water and other forms of ice are pretty common.
Comment icon #54 Posted by Astra- 9 years ago
Time flies doesn't it? Can't believe we are only a week and half away. Yes - and to think that this spacecraft was launched back in 2006 - and has travelled 3 billion miles Wow!.....
Comment icon #55 Posted by Astra- 9 years ago
No, water and other forms of ice are pretty common. It may be common - but in the case of Ceres - it's the unusual brighteness from the possible brine that have the experts -and much of the world a little baffled.
Comment icon #56 Posted by ShadowSot 9 years ago
It may be common - but in the case of Ceres - it's the unusual brighteness from the possible brine that have the experts - and much of the world a little baffled. Oh sure, merely commenting you don't need a moist atmosphere for ice to form.
Comment icon #57 Posted by Astra- 9 years ago
Oh sure, merely commenting you don't need a moist atmosphere for ice to form. ok - gotcha Just changing the subject for a minute Shadow - who is that handsome little guy that you have as your AV ? Is he from Lord of the Rings or some similiar film series/book ?
Comment icon #58 Posted by ShadowSot 9 years ago
In all seriousness, I don't know. I just found it awhile ago and thought it for me perfectly.
Comment icon #59 Posted by seeder 9 years ago
In all seriousness, I don't know. I just found it awhile ago and thought it for me perfectly.
Comment icon #60 Posted by ShadowSot 9 years ago
Damn, family pictures leaked it seems.


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