Social Media Sidebar

Announcement

Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

When seen through the lens of technology, few resources are truly scarce; they’re mainly inaccessible. 

 

Peter Diamandis

Icy Dwarf Planet Ceres May Have a Warm Heart

RATE THIS! +27
Posted in Science on 8th Aug, 2016 01:44 PM by AlexMuller

With a diameter of about 585 miles (940 kilometers), Ceres is by far the biggest member of the asteroid belt located between Mars and Jupiter. Previous remote analysis of Ceres using ground, and space-based telescopes suggested that it was not as dense as other large asteroids such as Vesta.

 

This suggested that Ceres was not made up solely of rock, but composed partly of both icy and rocky material. However, scientists weren't sure how the innards of Ceres were structured. Whereas Earth developed an onion-like structure fully differentiated into distinct layers, an outer crust, a central core and a mantle layer between the two, prior research suggested that Ceres might only be partially differentiated into more vague zones, or perhaps not differentiated at all.

 
Shedding light on the structure of Ceres might, in turn, yield insight into how it and other asteroids and dwarf planets evolved over time.
 
One property of Ceres that might reveal more about its structure is how easy or difficult it is for the dwarf planet to spin. This property, technically known as the moment of inertia, is related to how mass is distributed within a celestial body: The lower the moment of inertia, the more dense material is concentrated in a body's center.
 
To determine the moment of inertia of Ceres, scientists needed to analyze the dwarf planet's gravity field. Anything that has mass has a gravity field that attracts objects toward it, and the strength of this field depends on a body's mass. Because the mass of bodies such as Earth and Ceres is not spread out evenly, this means their gravity fields are stronger in some places on their surfaces and weaker in others.
 
The researchers examined gravity-field data that NASA's Dawn spacecraft gathered from its close encounter with Ceres. Their work suggests that Ceres is only partially differentiated, with a core made of rock overlaid by a shell composed of a mix of icy, salty and rocky material that is about 43.5 to 120 miles (70 to 190 km) thick.
 
"The partial differentiation suggests that Ceres was hot at one point, but it did not fully separate the water and other volatiles from its rocky components," study lead author Ryan Park, a planetary scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, told Space.com.
 
The scientists also detected signs that Ceres' interior might still be warm. This was a bit of a surprise, because previous research suggested that a body as small as Ceres should have cooled off a long time ago. This new finding indicates that Ceres might have a warm interior because of heat from radioactive material, Park said.

Tags: Ceresplanetastronomyicespaceresearchsolar system

Read original article » Back to category

Comments



 

Recent headlines

  • Posted in Hardware on 2017-11-17 18:02:34
    Tesla unveils a truck and a roadster..read more
    Posted in Hardware on 2017-11-17 17:47:38
    SpaceX expects government support for development of BFR.....read more
    Posted in Science on 2017-11-17 13:59:11
    Gene therapy infused into persons blood to correct liver.....read more
    Posted in Online on 2017-11-16 23:32:28
    Google’s Chatbase bot analytics platform opens to all..read more
    Posted in Software on 2017-11-16 23:25:41
    Google to build Artificial Intelligence that will build.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 Downloads..read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into new.....read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs,.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short Sighted..read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, but.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target mitochondria..read more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    Martian landscapes formed from sand 'levitating' on a little.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Scientists detect comets outside our solar system..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Advanced artificial limbs mapped in the brain..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Bacteria have a sense of touch..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Recurrent brain cancer: New hope with phase 1 clinical trial.....read more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Username:
Password:
Remember me
or

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Username:
Email:
Password:
Verify password:
Remember me