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NASA Just Released First Close-Up Images Of Ceres’ Mysterious Bright Spots

NASA Just Released First Close-Up Images Of Ceres' Mysterious Bright Spots 104

NASA has released some high-resolution images that give a close-up look at the mysterious bright spots of Ceres.

The images come courtesy of the NASA Dawn spacecraft, which at the moment, is at the lowest orbit of the planet.

Bright Spots Are No Alien Cities

NASA Just Released First Close-Up Images Of Ceres' Mysterious Bright Spots 105

The amazing photographs reveal the salt deposit in the southwest region of Cerealia Facula, which is located in the Occator Crater of Ceres. The Dawn spacecraft captured the photographs on June 22.

High-Resolution Images Courtesy of NASA Dawn Spacecraft

The Dawn spacecraft is able to send back superb high-resolution photographs showing the rugged surface with scientists having been intrigued by the bright spots of the Occator Crater. The spots can be clearly seen in the high-res photos due to the fact they stand out against what is essentially a dark background. They are something the public along with scientists were amazed ever since Dawn first discovered them in 2015 when arriving at Ceres.

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On June 6, the spacecraft was at its lowest orbit and since then has managed to send back many thousands of images along with data that has given scientists a lot more information about Ceres.

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One thing that has baffled scientists is how Ceres evolved over time along with how it manages to remain geologically active even though the planet is relatively small in comparison to other planets.

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Data Has Exceeded All Expectations of NASA

NASA said the latest images to come from Ceres have a resolution that is less than 5 meters per pixel. The framing camera lead investigator, Dr. Andreas Nathues said, “The data exceeds all our expectations.”

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NASA showed an image taken in February 2015 of Ceres, with the image sparking interest in the bright spots, which at that time remained even more of a mystery than they are today. It was said they took on the appearance of alien headlights. After more analysis, it was determined they were, in fact, salt deposits.

Dawn Spacecraft is Just 22 Miles Off Ceres Surface

The orbit of Ceres is 22 miles from the surface of Ceres with NASA capturing the carbonate deposit on the southwest part. The salt deposits gave a huge clue about the current activity while the data and images will help scientists to find answers to how they got there.

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Cerealia Facula is the biggest deposit in the middle with Dawn managing to take some of the closest ever photos after it adjusted the orbit trajectory.

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The results of the high-resolution images have been better than hoped for as they show the rich details of the planet offering scientists along with others a glimpse of the beauty of Ceres. The low orbit meant that many more details could be seen on the planet, including the bright spots.

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NASA Just Released First Close-Up Images Of Ceres' Mysterious Bright Spots 113

Space

In December, Earth’s inhabitants will be able to see a rare cosmic phenomenon

In December, Earth's inhabitants will be able to see a rare cosmic phenomenon 126

At the end of the year, astronomers expect to see a rare cosmic phenomenon dubbed the “Christmas star” in the sky. It will be caused by the fact that Saturn and Jupiter come close to each other at a minimum distance and almost collide to become one super-bright point of light.

These two planets became one straight line in the solar system a few weeks ago, but at the end of December they will be on it for observers from Earth. This will happen on December 21, 2020, on the day of the winter solstice, when the daylight hours are the shortest and the night is the longest. Jupiter and Saturn will look like a “double planet” for the first time since the Middle Ages, Forbes writes.

“The conjunctions of the two planets are extremely rare, but this particular conjunction is especially rare because the planets will be very close to each other,” Patrick Hartigan, astronomer at Rice University, USA said. “In order to observe a closer conjunction of these planets in the night sky, we would have to return on March 4, 1226.”

It is noted that the unusual celestial phenomenon can be observed from anywhere on the planet. The main thing is that the sky is clear. The “Christmas Star” can be seen in the western sky about an hour after sunset when viewed from the northern hemisphere.

“On the evening of their closest approach, December 21, they will appear as a twin planet, separated by less than 1/5 the diameter of the full moon,” Hartigan said. “For most amateur astronomers looking at the night sky through a telescope, both planets and several of their largest satellites will be in the same field of view this evening.”

In December, Earth's inhabitants will be able to see a rare cosmic phenomenon 127

Those who want to see Jupiter and Saturn converge in the sky as close, but will be higher above the horizon, will have to wait until March 15, 2080, Hartigan said. After that, a similar configuration for this planetary pair will not be observed until 2400.

Astronomers are already preparing equipment to analyze in detail the upcoming event. Everything is very serious, because the second such rapprochement between Jupiter and Saturn cannot be expected.

Of course, there will not be a collision of planets. You just get the impression that something terrible is about to happen in the solar system. Astronomers have assured that there is no reason to worry.

Is the “Christmas Star” an omen of things to come? Mark your calendars! 

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Space

A giant asteroid worth $ 17.4 billion is approaching Earth

A giant asteroid worth $ 17.4 billion is approaching Earth 128

NASA announced the imminent flight of a potentially dangerous asteroid will pass the Earth. The website of the Center for the Study of Near-Earth Objects says that a celestial body ranging in size from 370 to 820 meters will approach the planet on November 29.

The asteroid, consisting of nickel, iron and cobalt, is approaching the Earth. The cost of minerals in its composition reaches $ 17.4 billion, with reference to the Asterank database, which contains data on 600 thousand asteroids.

The distance between the asteroid 153201 (2000 WO107) and the Earth will be more than 4 million kilometers, the Space Reference specified with reference to NASA data. It is noted that the distance from the Earth to the Moon is 10 times less, and the asteroid is considered dangerous because it crosses the orbit of our planet.

According to the NASA Center for the Study of Near-Earth Objects, the celestial body will approach the Earth on November 29. 

It is noted that this time the asteroid does not pose a threat to the planet, however, it belongs to the group of potentially dangerous ones, since its trajectory crosses the Earth’s orbit.

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Space

Intrusive buzzing. The Perseverance rover recorded the space sounds of its flight to Mars

Intrusive buzzing. The Perseverance rover recorded the space sounds of its flight to Mars 129

NASA’s new rover is equipped with a microphone to record sounds during landing on the Red Planet.

NASA’s Perseverance rover, which is en route to Mars, has recorded its flight to the planet.

The new rover is equipped with a microphone designed to record sound when entering the atmosphere, descent and landing. The device should arrive on the Red Planet in February 2021.

But before the rover reached its destination, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) released an audio file recording what the rover “hears” during its interplanetary voyage.

The 60-second recording, posted on SoundCloud, was captured on Oct.19 while checking the rover’s EDL and microphone system.

Experts explain that the buzzing sound comes from a pump that pumps fluid to regulate the rover’s temperature.

NASA compares the new hit for your playlist to the noise you hear on wired headphones when the wire rubs against your clothing. It was these mechanical vibrations that the Perseverance microphone picked up.

“Located at the rear of the starboard side of the Perseverance, the pump is part of the unit’s heat system that maintains operating temperatures for the equipment, even in the coldest locations,” JPL said in a statement.

“I apologize to the person who came up with the slogan for the film” Alien “(” No one in space will hear your scream “- ed.), Perhaps no one will hear the scream, but perhaps a pump to remove heat will be heard,” says a leading engineer at JPL Dave Gruel.

He added that the microphone picks up the hum of the pump through mechanical vibration.

The Perseverance rover is supposed to land on Mars on February 18, 2021 in the Jezero crater – it is believed that a riverbed used to pass through this area. This is one of those places where traces of living organisms on the planet could be preserved.

The main mission of the rover is to detect signs of life in order to advance the study of the ancient history of Mars. In addition, the device will become part of a mission to deliver samples from the surface of the red planet: it will dig out rock at certain points, and then another device will pick them up, which will send them to Earth.

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