As NASA’s Dawn spacecraft gets closer, the latest images sent back on May 4th show much more detail of the crater ridden surface – and a hell of alot more of those mysterious ‘alien’ bright spots.
(Image Credit: NASA)
The images were taken approximately 8400 miles (13,600km) away from the dwarf planet, and experts still are unable to determine what the bright spots on the surface actually are. Theories are ranging from salt flats left behind from saltwater lakes, to giant ice spewing volcanoes.
These are the 2 winning theories at the moment, as one thing that seems to be relatively certain is that the light is caused by the reflection of the sun.
‘It’s too early to say what they are,’ Dr Marc Rayman, Dawn’s mission director and chief engineer, told MailOnline.
‘Some people have offered they might be ice, but I don’t consider that necessarily the most likely explanation.’
Ceres is 590 miles (950km) across and was first discovered in 1801. It is the closest dwarf planet to the sun, located in the asteroid belt, the only dwarf planet in the inner solar system.
Check out the entire article at The Daily Mail, along with a cool graphic showing the orbit.