Ceres, the most significant thing located in the space rock belt among Mars and Jupiter, is an “ocean world” with impressive hydrography under its freezing surface, as specialists have declared throughout disclosures that raise awareness for this small planet as a potential station until the end of time.
The paper was posted on the 10th of August, and it can be accessed in the journals Nature Astronomy, Nature Communications, and Nature Geoscience. The discoveries were made with the help of the data provided by NASA’s Dawn transport, which flew 22 miles away from the surface of Ceres back in 2018, giving another appreciation of the dwarf planet, including confirmation that cryovolcanism is present (volcanoes flooding cold material)l.
The discoveries underline the existence of a subsurface archive of salty water, which resulted after water from a vast subsurface ocean began to freeze. Ceres has a broadness of around 590 miles, but the scientists have mostly focused on the 57-mile-wide Occator Crater, which is the result of an impact around 22 million years back in Ceres’ northern part. It has two marvelous zones – salt exterior left by liquid that saturated up to the surface and then evaporated, creating these two bright spots.
Consequently, the liquid started its life in a saline area as big as hundreds of miles wide covering up around 25 miles underneath the surface, with the impact doing splits, allowing the underwater to escape.
This unusual phenomenon is not the first time for scientists to analyze. Other ocean worlds have been discovered on Europe, Jupiter’s moon, Enceladus, Saturn’s moon, Triton, Neptune’s moon, and the dwarf planet Pluto.
Water is seen as a critical component to support the existence of life. Therefore, the specialists are looking forward to performing additional studies, which would help them determine whether the planet has ever been inhabited by microbial life.