Saturday March 07, 2015

NASA Dawn Spacecraft Arrives at Dwarf Planet After 7 Years

Ceres is about to get a long awaited visitor from Planet Earth. After a seven-plus year journey on gossamer wings (actually solar panels), NASA’s Spaceship Dawn arrived early Friday morning to begin unraveling the dwarf planet’s secrets, including the newly discovered bright spots emanating from the surface.

Among the most unexpected sights are the two astonishingly bright spots nestled in a crater on Ceres's surface. Photographed by Dawn's camera Feb. 19, the dots have the experts buzzing with speculation. Maybe a direct hit from an asteroid -- a space rock آ– excavated some buried ice. Maybe the bright spots are a sheen of minerals deposited by gushing geysers.