Ceres Is No Ordinary Asteroid
Ceres, the largest asteroid in the asteroid belt, recently emitted a strange signal. Ceres, like all asteroids, is pock-marked with many craters. In just one of its large craters, large bright lights are readily visible in the telescope.
There are thousands of asteroids in the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. The largest of those asteroids is Ceres. It dwarfs all other asteroids, measuring 606 miles by 565 miles.
The Herschel Space Observatory reports it has detected water vapor emanating from Ceres. The vapor is visible as plumes that appear “close” to the locations of the white light spots. Some Observatory scientists suggest the plumes could be a product of icy volcanoes.
They haven’t defined what an “icy volcano” is, yet.
Scientists think Ceres has a rocky core, an icy mantle, and they suspect there is liquid water below the surface. They know that the density of Ceres is less than earth, and the surface shows spectral evidence of water, so that is why they suspect water ice may be buried under the crust.
Astronomers estimate the mantle is 25 percent water. That would be around 200 million cubic-kilometers of water by volume. If that sounds like a lot, it is. In fact, it is more fresh water than all the fresh water on earth. This Texas-sized asteroid has a nearly spherical body, with a very differentiated interior than any other known asteroid.
Surprise Of The Decade
Speaking about the bright lights they observed, Andreas Nathues, Lead Investigator at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, said, “The brightest spot continues to be too small to resolve with our camera, but despite its size it is brighter than anything else on Ceres. This is truly unexpected and still a mystery to us.”
The asteroid belt is a long way from the sun, so ‘relatively’ warm isn’t what we would consider warm. The current known maximum temperature is -38 degrees Celsius, not warm enough for a picnic.
The DAWN spacecraft has not determined if there is any clear covering over that crater. If there is water on Ceres, it is also possible there is some form of life too.
Numbers Of Bright Spots Change
“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 Chris Russell, NASA Dawn Mission investigator.
The prominent bright spots have only been visible for a few months, and only in this huge crater. Sometimes, there are only two very bright spots visible, but occasionally, there are seven distinct brightly-lit locations.
Could Ceres be Planet #5?
The International Astronomical Union for the definition of a planet had defined a planet as “a celestial body that (A) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid-body forces so that it becomes nearly round in shape, and (B) is in orbit around a star, and is neither a star nor a satellite of a planet.” Adopting this resolution, it would have made Ceres the fifth planet in order from the sun. However, planets meeting the first definition but not the second, were classified as dwarf planets, or planetoids. Meeting the second is still possible, because Ceres is not a star and does not revolve around any planet. However an article by Gingerich, written on 8/2006 discusses “The IAU draft definition of ‘Planet’ and ‘Plutons’.”
Member of the Planet Definition Committee, Richard Binzel says: “Our goal was to find a scientific basis for a new definition of planet and we chose gravity as the determining factor. Nature decides whether or not an object is a planet.” Ceres’ mass is evidently not up to par to give it enough gravity for ‘normal’ planet status.
What Exactly Do Those Spots Indicate?
Bottom line, Ceres’ very bright white-spots have varied between two and seven, depending upon which picture you look at. Presently, Dawn is still 29,000 miles away from Ceres in its spiral path towards the planet. The bright spots are immensely brighter than should be seen at Ceres’ distance from earth. Magma flows, or some kind of thermal radiation doesn’t wash. Light is usually produced by natural sources like the sun, or any star undergoing fusion.
On earth, we can produce light by any of three methods: incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs, and discharge tubes-neon tubes in store signs. All those light sources cannot be seen at distances of the orbit between Mars and Jupiter. But light from a Ceres empty crater can easily be seen by major telescopes. What exactly is happening there? Can they be using something much stronger than current methods for producing light? Exactly who might ‘they’ be? If ‘they’ actually exist, how do they survive in -38 centigrade temperatures? Is a transparent cover for the meteorite hole used to keep the light lit?
If, in fact the reason for light is man(?)made, and NASA upon closer inspection with DAWN finds some very telling information, will they actually transmit that information?