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Rusty-Gunn

Dwarf planet Ceres emitting two lights...

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Hi. I read a story on Yahoo News about the dwarf planet Ceres emitting two lights. It is still unknown what these are. Seems a ship or satelite, called Dawn, is near it and took photos.

I'm thinking these two lights will be proven to be Wallace and Gromitt. They are stuck there because their homemade space ship is brokedown. They are signaling for help. The craving for cheese can make people do strange things.

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I forgot to ask... Can this dwarf planets be seen? Its in the astroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. I tend to doubt it but thought I'd ask.

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Ceres varies between mag 6.7 and 9.3, so can be picked up in binoculars with the aid of a good star chart such as Stellarium or Cartes du Ciel.

The two bright spots are likely to be high albedo fresh impacts. We will have to wait for more Dawn images to make sure.

Unlikely to be Wallace and Grommit - more likely to be the soup dragon's home :)

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I forgot to ask... Can this dwarf planets be seen? Its in the astroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. I tend to doubt it but thought I'd ask.

I can be observed indeed, and with good seeing some imagers have even captured its tiny disk - it's about the apparent size of Titan on a good opposition.

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That just looks wrong. :eek: :eek:

However I see there is what could be described as an "old" bright spot in/on the crater at the lower left of the image.

Also a nother a bit up and left also.

Still looks wrong however.

Be interesting to see what the potential explaiations for them are.

Is the soup from the soup well that reflective?

Edited by ronin

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I guess it's a couple of unearthed spots of metal, crystalline surface or ice?

It's more likely they forgot to shut the curtains before we arrived ;)

Edited by Cath
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I suppose ice would eventually dissapear under sunlight without a thick atmosphere, right? And that crater will likely receive direct sunlight for several hours every day.

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Does have the appearance of a subsurface layer that is reflective (meaning what is it or can it be), and that therefore there is an accretion of dust or material on the surface which eventually covers it.

Just looks a bit odd/extreme the way it has come out.

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I reckon if that was in the large crater of Mimas there would be concern it was powering up. :D

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Most mysterious. Judging by the gibbous phase, the sun is well towards the left, so if it IS a reflection, and the feature is on level ground in the middle of a crater, how could it possibly reflect the light toward the camera at this angle?

UNLESS the light is coming from INSIDE. Aliens, obviously.

... Only joking.

Edited by lukebl

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Perhaps giant minerals like diamonds? Chunks of ice? Or parhaps an alien ship came out of warp-speed in the astrobelt and got damaged. They then landed on Ceres awaiting help? (Seriously, I think chunks of ice)

As a total newb to stargazing I find this story facinating.

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Growing up, I'd been led to believe the objects in the asteroid belt were just big, irregular rocks. And now we see a small planet that resembles the Moon? Fantastic! I'm a fan of the Dawn project now.

Whatever the bright spot may be, I'm glad it's making news in places beyond the science journals. C'mon Pluto!

Clear Skies,

Dave

post-38438-0-56541300-1425005185.jpg

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Dave in Vermont... Yup, same here. I never thought it possible one can see these objects with a.telescope either. I figured they'd be too small. I am indeed glad I joined this site. I've learned a thing or two already.

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CMA-1 obviously, 

Just like TMA-1 (Tycho Magnetic Anomaly) from 2001.  This must be Ceres Magnetic Anomaly One. 

come on folks wake up :)

Seriously though, could it be smooth ice ?  The angle of light and the reflection direction does seem really odd, as Luke mentioned above. 

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I read on another site that the image has been streched somewhat, and in real life the spots only have a 9% higher albedo.

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Before opening this thread I had never heard of Eris, Ceres, or Chiron. I had never heard of a minor planet. 

Cooooool. 

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I read on another site that the image has been streched somewhat, and in real life the spots only have a 9% higher albedo.

Stretching an image to get a better picture; outrageous, what kind of twisted person would do such a terrible thing  ;)

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Dave, I'm not complaining... Just saying the reality might be a bit more muted. But however it would look to human eyes, it is still a very localized and significant change to albedo.

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