Zooming in on Ceres’ mysterious double bright spot

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Ceres' double bright spots

Cool image time! Dawn’s science team has released a much closer image of the double bright spots on Ceres.

The spots can now be resolved into a half-dozen spots of varying size, all of which suggest material with a high reflectivity, likely ice. They look so bright because the rest of the dwarf planet’s surface is so dark.


  • Cotour

    What seems most reasonable is that the crater is full of ice and these white spots are the result of more recent asteroid strikes.

    I wounder what Richard C. Hoagland thinks they are?

  • Chris Huson

    Is it a set of white spots on a grey planetoid, or is it grey spots on a dark planetoid?

  • Ceres is very dark, as are most asteroids. The bright spots are also dark, because there is much less light from the sun out there in the asteroid belt. They aren’t grey, however. Assuming they are ice, they are white but dimly lit.

    They appear so bright in these images because the surface around them is so relatively dark and needs to be brightened to bring its details out.

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