Dwarf planet Ceres has craters filled with bubbles of atmosphere
Ceres is a dwarf planet, residing in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. It's known for its shiny spots, which, till now, scientists were puzzled by. New data from NASA's Dawn spacecraft have provided more clues to this puzzle.
The bright spots, which lie at the bottom of craters, appear to be sublimating some kind of substance, or turning it into gas, creating a small bubble of atmosphere inside the crater. This discovery means that it's possible that the shiny spots on the planet are made of ice, since the small atmospheres could include water.
Facts about ceres:
Scientists have found a giant mountain on Ceres which they call The Pyramid. It's about three miles tall and nine miles wide.
Ceres contains a lot of water, and may even harbor life. "It is possible that the water systems associated with Ceres may harbor life, and could be conducive to life more than some of the outer solar system bodies," Dawn's principal investigator, Christopher Russell said. "So I would say, we really do need to spend some time in probing the surface of Ceres and checking out its astrobiological implications."