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Ceres' Atmosphere
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Ceres' Temporary Atmosphere Linked to Solar Activity

Scientists have long thought that Ceres may have a very weak, transient atmosphere, but mysteries lingered about its origin and why it's not always present. Now, researchers suggest that this temporary atmosphere appears to be related to the behaviour of the sun, rather than Ceres' proximity to the sun. The study was conducted by scientists from NASA's Dawn mission and others who previously identified water vapour at Ceres using other observatories.
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RE: Ceres
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Ice in Ceres' Shadowed Craters Linked to Tilt History

Dwarf planet Ceres may be hundreds of millions of miles from Jupiter, and even farther from Saturn, but the tremendous influence of gravity from these gas giants has an appreciable effect on Ceres' orientation. In a new study, researchers from NASA's Dawn mission calculate that the axial tilt of Ceres -- the angle at which it spins as it journeys around the sun -- varies widely over the course of about 24,500 years.
Astronomers consider this to be a surprisingly short period of time for such dramatic deviations.

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Organic material discovered on dwarf planet Ceres hints at potential for life

Simple organic molecules have been detected on the dwarf planet Ceres, adding to evidence it contains key ingredients essential for life.
The substances most likely evolved within Ceres, which is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, rather than being delivered by a cosmic collision, a team of scientists reported in the journal Science.

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Occator crater
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Title: Haze at Occator crater on dwarf planet Ceres
Author: G. Thangjam, M. Hoffmann, A. Nathues, J.-Y. Li, T. Platz

A diurnal varying haze layer at the bright spots of Occator on dwarf planet Ceres has been reported from images of the Dawn Framing Camera. This finding is supported by ground-based observations revealing diurnal albedo changes at Occator's longitude. In the present work, we further investigate the previously reported haze phenomenon in more detail using additional Framing Camera images. We demonstrate that the light scattering behaviour at the central floor of Occator is different compared to a typical cerean surface and is likely inconsistent with a pure solid surface scatterer. The identified deviation is best explained by an additional component to the scattered light of the surface, i.e., a haze layer. Our results support the water vapour detection by Herschel observations though the existence of a tenuous cerean exosphere is not yet confirmed.

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RE: Ceres
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Where is the Ice on Ceres? New NASA Dawn Findings

At first glance, Ceres, the largest body in the main asteroid belt, may not look icy. Images from NASA's Dawn spacecraft have revealed a dark, heavily cratered world whose brightest area is made of highly reflective salts -- not ice. But newly published studies from Dawn scientists show two distinct lines of evidence for ice at or near the surface of the dwarf planet. Researchers are presenting these findings at the 2016 American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.
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Cerealia Facula and Vinalia Faculae
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Bright spots in Occator crater on Ceres have been named Cerealia Facula and Vinalia Faculae
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Occator Crater
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New Clues to Ceres' Bright Spots and Origins

Ceres reveals some of its well-kept secrets in two new studies in the journal Nature, thanks to data from NASA's Dawn spacecraft. They include highly anticipated insights about mysterious bright features found all over the dwarf planet's surface.
In one study, scientists identify this bright material as a kind of salt. The second study suggests the detection of ammonia-rich clays, raising questions about how Ceres formed.
Ceres has more than 130 bright areas, and most of them are associated with impact craters. Study authors, led by Andreas Nathues at Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Göttingen, Germany, write that the bright material is consistent with a type of magnesium sulfate called hexahydrite. A different type of magnesium sulfate is familiar on Earth as Epsom salt.

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Ceres' bright spots in sharp detail

The US space agency's Dawn satellite has returned its best view yet of the enigmatic bright spots on the dwarf planet Ceres.
The features sit inside a crater called Occator, and the new image reveals their structure in very fine detail.

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RE: Ceres
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Tour Ceres: Bright Spots and a Pyramid-Shaped Mountain

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New Names and Insights at Ceres

Colourful new maps of Ceres, based on data from NASA's Dawn spacecraft, showcase a diverse topography, with height differences between crater bottoms and mountain peaks as great as 15 kilometres.
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