Ammonia from farther out in solar system hints at dwarf planet’s origins
JPL-Caltech/NASA, UCLA, MPS, DLR, IDA
Bright patches of salt on the dwarf planet Ceres hint at a subsurface layer of briny water ice. Ammonia-laden minerals also suggest that Ceres was at least partially assembled from material hauled in from the outskirts of the solar system, researchers report online December 9 in two papers in Nature.
Reflective spots on Ceres have been one of the enduring mysteries of the Dawn mission (SN Online: 9/10/15), which arrived at the dwarf planet March 6 (SN: 4/4/15, p. 9). During its visit, the spacecraft has cataloged more