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Water Ice Found on Ceres; Can It Be a Candidate for Interplanetary Migration?

Dec 20, 2016 12:25 PM EST
Water Ice Found on Ceres; Can It Be a Candidate for Interplanetary Migration?
Lone ice volcano in the dwarf planet Ceres might actually have neighbors that progressively disappeared over millions of years.
(Photo : NASA/Getty Images)

Scientists have discovered that Ceres, one of the solar system's dwarf planets, actually has water ice all over its craters. This new discovery has shed light to some of the solar system's mysteries and may be one of the considerations for future interplanetary migration. 

A report from Live Science explained that just like the moon, Ceres is home to a number of large craters that are usually in complete shadows when viewed from the Earth or by satellites probing the solar system. Deep shadows like this prevent scientists from figuring out what they hide. However, new evidence show that what is hidden in Ceres' shadowy craters are actually small amounts of ice.

According to a report from NASA, some records of the surface of Ceres come back with bright spots that seem like surface water reflecting light. Baffled by what this is, space scientists have decided to take a closer look. What they have found are small patches of ice and ice covered rock on the surface of the dwarf planet. Further studies have shown that these are not just isolated patches, but instead, it would seem that Ceres is covered with ice, especially in its craters.

This is not the first time that water has been seen in Ceres. A report from Popular Science has explained that there had been findings of water vapor erupting from its surface. In fact, its surface is not only made of rock but is also made up of ice. The eruption of water vapor from the surface also suggests the presence of ice and water underneath the top crust of the dwarf planet.

Although still technically considered as an asteroid, Ceres is considered as the largest asteroid in the solar system. On top of that, its diameter also qualifies it as a dwarf planet. It is considered as the nearest dwarf planet to earth, being located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. However, this particular planet does not have an atmosphere just like the moon and is thus not inhabitable. 

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