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posted on 10 April 2015

Infographic Of The Day: Dwarf Planet Ceres In The Asteroid Belt

The dwarf planet Ceres is 590 miles (950 kilometers) in diameter, or about the size of the state of Texas.

Ceres is thought to be a surviving protoplanet, or planetary embryo, formed 4.57 billion years ago in the earliest days of our solar system.

A year on Ceres is 4.6 Earth years long. Ceres rotates every 9 hours and 4 minutes.

At the start of its encounter in early 2015, the Dawn spacecraft took photos of Ceres with greater clarity than any before.

Photos taken when Dawn was 28,600 miles (46,000 km) away from Ceres were used to make this global map. Even at this low resolution, strange features stand out that beg to be explained.

One feature, a huge basin, is relatively flat, with few craters, indicating that it could be relatively young. Also mysterious are the bright spots on Ceres that could be evidence of ice volcanoes, as on Jupiter's moons.

Ceres is thought to contain as much as 200 million cubic kilometers of water, more than all the fresh water on Earth. Most of this water is thought to be in the form of ice.

[click here to enlarge infographic]

Facts about protoplanet Ceres.
Source All about our solar system, outer space and exploration


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