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Ceres Bright Spots Now a Double Mystery

Some are cold but others aren't, Dawn spacecraft reveals

(Newser) - NASA now has a spacecraft in orbit for a long-awaited look at Ceres—and while researchers are learning a lot about the dwarf planet, they're now doubly puzzled by the planet's mysterious bright spots . As the Dawn spacecraft closes in, scientists have realized there are multiple bright spots,... More »

'I Am in Orbit Around Ceres,' Spacecraft Tweets

Dawn, pulled in by dwarf planet's gravity, is first craft to orbit 2 extraterrestrial objects

(Newser) - You heard it straight from the spacecraft's mouth: "Confirmed: I am in orbit around #Ceres." That was the tweet sent out from the Dawn Mission at 9:37am EST this morning to announce NASA's first spacecraft to arrive at a dwarf planet. The agency confirmed the... More »

Mission May Unravel Mystery of Ceres' 2 Bright Spots

NASA spacecraft enters the dwarf planet's orbit on March 6

(Newser) - With a NASA spacecraft closing in on the dwarf planet Ceres , scientists were looking forward to figuring out the origins of a mysterious bright spot. But it turns out there are actually two bright spots, right next to each other, reports Mashable . The best guess continues to be ice of... More »

Get Ready to Welcome Pluto Back as a Planet

Astronomer thinks Ceres will join the club, too

(Newser) - Vanderbilt astronomer David Weintraub thinks Pluto was wrongly kicked out of the planet club in 2006. But he's confident that this is going to be a very big year for Pluto and for another so-called "dwarf planet" named Ceres, he writes in the Conversation . NASA spacecraft will visit... More »

Sign of Life? Vapor Rises on Dwarf Planet

Find suggests Ceres has huge subsurface ocean

(Newser) - There may be a new contender for the likeliest place to host life elsewhere in our solar system—and it's not a planet or a moon. Astronomers have spotted water vapor from Ceres, classed as both the smallest dwarf planet and largest asteroid, marking the first time water has... More »

NASA Launches Asteroid Rocket

First 'interplanetary' spaceship to visit two asteroids

(Newser) - This morning NASA launched a spacecraft that's headed to the asteroid belt, where it will get a close-up look at the belt's largest bodies, asteroid Vesta and the dwarf planet Ceres.  It's NASA’s first multi-target mission, and Dawn, which one engineer called “the first real interplanetary spaceship,... More »

6 Stories