::Bright spots on Ceres


Ceres::crater    Occator::center    Image::spots    Caption::bright    Width::title    Bright::align

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Spots on Ceres from different angles
Multiple bright spots in Occator crater stand out against the dark surface

Several bright surface features (also known as faculae) were discovered on the dwarf planet Ceres by the Dawn spacecraft in 2015.

The brightest cluster of spots ("Spot 5") is located in an {{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}} crater called Occator.<ref name="USGS-20150713-pdf">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref><ref name="USGS-20150706">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> The largest and brightest component of the cluster is in the center of the crater, with dimmer spots located towards this crater's eastern rim. Early in the orbital phase of the Dawn mission, the high albedo of these spots was speculated to be due to some kind of outgassing,<ref name=Lakdawalla20150319>LPSC 2015: First results from Dawn at Ceres: provisional place names and possible plumes</ref> and later NASA concluded that the areas' brightness is sunlight being returned by a material with a high level of reflection, and suggested ice and salt as possibilities.<ref name='not ice'>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref> These bright features have an albedo of about 40%, four times brighter than the average of Ceres's surface.<ref name=siliconvalleyastrolecture>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=speech }} </ref>

Bright spots on Ceres sections
Intro  Spot 5  Planned observations  Gallery  See also  References  External links