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Thread: The mystery of the lights on Ceres

  1. #1

    The mystery of the lights on Ceres

    Here is a video from the NASA’s spacecraft Dawn filmed on Jan. 13th, 2015.




    Published on Jan 19, 2015

    NASA's Dawn mission snapped imagery of Ceres at a distance of 238,000 miles (about the same distance between the Earth and the Moon) on Jan. 13th, 2015. The images show 'hint of craters' according to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

    It is composed of rock and ice, is 950 km (590 mi) in diameter, and contains approximately one third of the mass of the asteroid belt.

    250px-Ceres_RC2_Bright_Spot.jpg

    Ceres as seen by the Dawn spacecraft, 19 February 2015. The bright spots, seen unresolved in Hubble images, are here revealed as two distinct features inside a crater.

    ...could those bright spots be a space port, or a base...?
    Last edited by epo333; 02-28-2015 at 02:31 AM.

  2. #2
    Lead Moderator calikid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by epo333 View Post
    Here is a video from the NASA’s spacecraft Dawn filmed on Jan. 13th, 2015.




    Published on Jan 19, 2015

    NASA's Dawn mission snapped imagery of Ceres at a distance of 238,000 miles (about the same distance between the Earth and the Moon) on Jan. 13th, 2015. The images show 'hint of craters' according to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

    It is composed of rock and ice, is 950 km (590 mi) in diameter, and contains approximately one third of the mass of the asteroid belt.

    250px-Ceres_RC2_Bright_Spot.jpg

    Ceres as seen by the Dawn spacecraft, 19 February 2015. The bright spots, seen unresolved in Hubble images, are here revealed as two distinct features inside a crater.

    ...could those bright spots be a space port, or a base...?


    Probably just weather balloons.
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    Super Moderator newyorklily's Avatar
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    Maybe it's something like this NASA image



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    Senior Member majicbar's Avatar
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    Guys, one has to remember that Ceres surface is like a burnt cookie, very dark. Image compensation makes it look much lighter. A "volcano", water geyser, would deposit an ice field around it, that would sublimate into space over time. But this would contrast to a very high degree. I would bet this is exactly what is being seen. We will know shortly.

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    Senior Member majicbar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by majicbar View Post
    Guys, one has to remember that Ceres surface is like a burnt cookie, very dark. Image compensation makes it look much lighter. A "volcano", water geyser, would deposit an ice field around it, that would sublimate into space over time. But this would contrast to a very high degree. I would bet this is exactly what is being seen. We will know shortly.
    http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/dawn/bright-...l#.VPO_W4738yj

    The pictures are getting better all the time.

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    Super Moderator newyorklily's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by majicbar View Post
    Guys, one has to remember that Ceres surface is like a burnt cookie, very dark. Image compensation makes it look much lighter. A "volcano", water geyser, would deposit an ice field around it, that would sublimate into space over time. But this would contrast to a very high degree. I would bet this is exactly what is being seen. We will know shortly.
    Even if it is ice in that basin, there still needs to be a light source to reflect off of it. What and where is that light source? I think our sun is too far away.

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    Senior Member majicbar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newyorklily View Post
    Even if it is ice in that basin, there still needs to be a light source to reflect off of it. What and where is that light source? I think our sun is too far away.

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    If you study the cameras that took the images taken by DAWN at Vesta you find that they were designed to take them in the low light at Vesta and Ceres which is only about 20% of what is around the Earth. As such they can take pictures in low light but the contrast is stretched to make the scene normalized so one thinks the lighting is like that taken of the Moon when one is in orbit around it. The same has to be done for some of the moons around Jupiter and Saturn too. Some of these cameras are able to make an image in very, very low light as will the mission to Pluto, where the sunloight is more starlight than daylight.

    http://www.planetary.org/blogs/guest...mysteries.html

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    Super Moderator newyorklily's Avatar
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    Here is a really cool article. They used 27 images of Ceres and animated them to give you the view of Ceres rotating.






    NASA / JPL / UCLA / MPS / DLR / IDA / Emily Lakdawalla
    Rotating Ceres from Dawn, February 19, 2015
    Last edited by calikid; 03-05-2015 at 03:53 PM. Reason: Imbedded animated GIF
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  9. #9
    Based on that gif annimation, those lights in the crater do not look like refected light from the sun. Looks more like they maintain the same brightness well into the "Dark Side".

    Very interesting to say the least!!!



    edit to fix typo
    Last edited by epo333; 03-06-2015 at 02:43 AM.

  10. #10
    It is very odd and interesting.

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