This view from NASA’s Dawn mission shows where ice has been detected in the northern wall of Ceres’ Juling Crater, which is in almost permanent shadow. Caption and Photo Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, which has been orbiting Ceres for three years, has observed changes on the dwarf planet’s surface indicating it is a dynamic, geologically active world. Two separate studies published in the journal Science Advances discuss these changes with one centering on the changing amounts of water ice and the other discussing the formation and distribution of carbonates.
This view from NASA’s Dawn mission shows the floor of Ceres’ Juling Crater. The crater floor shows evidence of the flow of ice and rock, similar to rock glaciers in Earth’s polar regions. Caption and Photo Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech
The probe’s Visible and Infrared Spectrometer (VIR) found water ice in 12 sites on Ceres’ surface. According to NASA, a study showed these these concentrations were especially high in the northern wall of the 12-mile (20-kilometer) wide Juling Crater. Between April and October 2016, the level of water ice on that crater wall noticeably increased.
Andrea Raponi of the Institute of Astrophysics and Planetary Science (INAF) in Rome, ...