Category Archives: Ceres

Ceres: Smallest Dwarf Planet or Biggest Asteroid?

In 1801, Ceres was discovered by Father Giuseppe Piazzi, who believed it to be a planet or “new star.” Originally, Ceres was classified as a planet. However, after more objects were discovered in the asteroid belt, Ceres was demoted to an asteroid in the 1850s. Today, Ceres is classified as a dwarf planet. Ceres is … Continue reading Ceres: Smallest Dwarf Planet or Biggest Asteroid? Continue reading Continue reading

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Recent Landslides on Ceres display Ice Content

A series of landslides on Ceres’ surface has been photographed last week, displaying solid evidence for frozen water comprising a sizable portion of its composition. Images displayed three different types of landslide classifications. Type I landslides are relatively round and large, similar to rock glaciers and landslides found on Earth. These landslides are found at […]Continue reading Continue reading

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Ceres Harbors Building Blocks of Life

Ceres, the largest asteroid in the Solar System, and now considered a dwarf planet, may have once been habitable. NASA’s Dawn spacecraft collected samples from the surface and were found to contain organic compounds and amino acids, which are often referred to as the building blocks of life. Dawn has also discovered evidence of a subsurface… Continue reading Ceres Harbors Building Blocks of LifeContinue reading Continue reading

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Blog #6

Image of Ceres The asteroid belt lies between Mars and Jupiter. This area is where the dwarf planet Ceres is located. Given that it was the first dwarf planet to be visited by a spacecraft and the largest object in the asteroid belt, there have been quite a few interesting discoveries about this celestial object. Here … Continue reading Blog #6Continue reading Continue reading

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Explore Vesta with Vesta Trek

Today, NASA released Vesta Trek, a free web-based application that provides a detailed visualization of Vesta, one of the largest asteroids in the Solar System. This was made possible by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, which studied Vesta from July 2011 to September 2012. This application includes interactive maps, the ability to print Vesta in a 3-D printer, […] Continue reading Continue reading

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NASA’s Dawn Spacecraft Orbits Ceres

That’s no moon! Just this past week, the Dawn spacecraft entered orbit around Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt. The dward planet is one of the oldest planetary object left in our solar system, and as such could provide valuable information about the early formation of the planets; it is an in-between step, a […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Debating about the Dwarf Planets

When I received an e-mail from my astronomy professor from last semester, David Weintraub, about an article that he had recently written for The Conversation, I was quite excited to read it. Professor Weintraub is very passionate about Pluto and quite vocal about his disapproval of its demoted status. This article, entitled “NASA missions may […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Serious About Ceres

NASA’s Dawn started orbiting the dwarf planet Ceres last Friday, making it the first spacecraft to ever orbit a dwarf planet. After a seven and a half year, 3.1 billion mile journey, Dawn reached the small, icy protoplanet that orbits the Sun in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Ceres has been a bit […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Dawn’s New Home

If we want to understand the universe, we need to understand our Solar System first. And NASA is well underway to exploring every bit of our solar neighborhood. Just a couple of days ago the spacecraft Dawn send a message to NASA that it was “healthy and thrusting with its ion engine” in an orbit […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Strange Light Found on Dwarf Planet Ceres?

Scientists claim to have spotted a strange bright light or object recently on the surface of Ceres, a dwarf planet and the largest object lying within the Asteroid Belt of our solar system. The following picture was taken of the planet as NASA’s Dawn Spacecraft flew in toward the object on January 13th. What is […] Continue reading Continue reading

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