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Dwarf Ceres captured in colour

The US space agency's (Nasa) Dawn mission to Ceres has released its first colour map of the dwarf planet.
The colours illustrate variations in surface materials, hinting at the diverse processes that have helped shape this 950km-wide body.

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Bright spots on Ceres could be water volcanoes

As NASA's Dawn spacecraft pulled into orbit earlier this month around the dwarf planet Ceres in the asteroid belt, it spotted a mysterious bright spot inside a crater. There were suspicions that the spot could be caused by water spewing into space, now fresh views, presented for the first time yesterday, lend weight to the idea.
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Scientists say they are hugely excited to learn the origin of two bright spots on the surface of Ceres.
Intriguingly, the European Space Agency's Herschel telescope reported last year seeing water vapour coming from two sectors on Ceres. One of these sectors includes the location of the spots.

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Dawn Captures Sharper Images of Ceres

Craters and mysterious bright spots are beginning to pop out in the latest images of Ceres from NASA's Dawn spacecraft. These images, taken Feb. 12 at a distance of 83,000 kilometres from the dwarf planet, pose intriguing questions for the science team to explore as the spacecraft nears its destination.
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NASAs Dawn Spacecraft Captures Best-Ever View of Dwarf Planet

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This animation of the dwarf planet Ceres was made by combining images taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft on Jan. 25. The spacecraft's framing camera took these images, at a distance of about 237,000 kilometres from Ceres, and they represent the highest-resolution views to date of the dwarf planet.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL

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Ceres asteroid vents water vapour

Observations of the Solar System's biggest asteroid suggest it is spewing plumes of water vapour into space.
Ceres has long been thought to contain substantial quantities of ice within its body, but this is the first time such releases have been detected.
The discovery was made by Europe's infrared Herschel space telescope, and is reported in the journal Nature.

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In the Observatory of Palermo the astronomer Giuseppe Piazzi discovered the first and the largest asteroid to be identified Ceres (today considered a dwarf planet) on January 1, 1801
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The 1st August 2012 is Ceres 46th birthday. (The Orbital period is 4.60 years or 1680.5 days)

Discovered on 1 January 1801 by Giuseppe Piazzi, Ceres was the first asteroid to be identified, though it was classified as a planet at the time.



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Chart for the dwarf planet Ceres from 24th February to 30th March 2012.

At magnitude 9.2 Ceres should be visible in medium to large telescopes, unfortunately the lack of nearby bright stars will make tracking it down quite difficult.



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Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi discovered the asteroid (1) Ceres on the 1st January, 1801.

Hubble Views Ceres Rotation (2003-2004)



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