Space probe Dawn has arrived at Ceres Research dwarf planet




The US space probe Dawn’s Friday afternoon Dutch time arrived at the dwarf planet Ceres. Spherical celestial body that is part of the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.

Dawn came Friday at exactly 13:39 hours Dutch time at Ceres. At that time caught the gravitational field of the dwarf planet space probe, which was at that time at 61,000 kilometers away. An hour later, NASA received the message that Dawn is in order and is in orbit around the planet.

Ceres – discovered in 1801 by Italian Giuseppe Piazzi – has a diameter of about 950 kilometers and is the largest object in the asteroid belt. The object is almost completely spherical, allowing scientists consider it the dwarf planets. That category led the International Astronomical Union in 2006.

It is the first time that a spacecraft exploring a dwarf planet Ceres. NASA Dawn launched in 2007 to make close study. Researchers hope the probe to better understand how the universe ever created.

To the extent that the scientists know the surface of Ceres likely exists for a large part of rock and water ice, respectively, the core and the sheath. Possibly, the dwarf planet has liquid water below the surface. If so, and calculations show that a quarter of Ceres consists of water, then think astronomers that the small planet has more fresh water than here on earth.

Moreover, it takes a while before scientists get to know more about the planet. Only in April is approaching Dawn Ceres enough for observation. The satellite is then at a distance of 13,500 kilometers, although that distance will decrease further in the coming months. Earlier did Dawn research into the asteroid Vesta, which is about half of Ceres.

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