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NASA may have solved mystery surrounding bright spots on dwarf planet

20:36 10 December 2015 Author :   The Staff

When images of Ceres were first beamed back, the scientific community was rather stunned by the presence of numerous bright spots on the dwarf planet's surface.

A new study on the matter reveals insights into the phenomenon.

The researchers determined the roughly 130 glowing areas contain a material that appears to be a magnesium sulfate variety known as hexahydrite.

Sublimated water ice is the proposed source of the salty component.

The scientists speculate the substance was brought to the surface by meteor strikes.

Notably, the majority of the spots are located within impact craters.

Said Andreas Nathues, one of the researchers, "The global nature of Ceres' bright spots suggests that this world has a subsurface layer that contains briny water-ice."

The team says that to figure out why some of the glimmering areas are more intense than others they will need more detailed readings.


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