Mid-infrared light reveals a contaminated crust around Ceres

Using a combination of space telescope data, as well as recent data acquired with the SOFIA Airborne telescope and lab experiments, a team of astronomers including researchers from the SETI Institute and Jet Propulsion Laboratory  have revealed the presence of dust of exogenic origin at the surface of dwarf planet Ceres. This contamination likely stems from a dust cloud formed in the outer part of the main belt of asteroids following a collision in recent times. That study challenges the relationship proposed between Ceres and asteroids in the C spectral class and instead suggests an origin of this dwarf planet in the transneptunian region. This study was published on January  19 2017 in Astronomical Journal.

AGU 2015 session: Solar system small bodies-relics of formation and new worlds to explore

Tomorrow is the last day of the Fall AGU Meeting and I am convening and chairing another session on ASTEROIDS!

This session entitled “Solar system small bodies: relics of formation and new worlds to explore” was organized with my colleagues Padma A Yanamandra-Fisher from Space Science Institute and Julie C. Castillo from Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

NASA's Dawn spacecraft found that bright spots on dwarf planet Ceres are most likely salt deposits. (Photo: Twitter/EdmundoCalero)
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft found that bright spots on dwarf planet Ceres are most likely salt deposits. (Photo: Twitter/EdmundoCalero)

We have a surprise for the oral session scheduled on Friday 18 December from 10:20 to 12:20, since we managed to replace two last minute cancelation by a talk of 30-min given by C. Russel to review the latest findings with Dawn at Ceres. See below.