Ceres is the most prominent object found in the asteroid belt that lies between Mars and Jupiter. It has a diameter of 945 km and, due to its dimensions, it has been classified as a dwarf planet, and it is the 33rd-largest object in our solar system. Ceres is made up mainly from ice and rock, and it is the only body in the asteroid belt that is rounded by its own gravity. The dwarf planet was discovered in 1801, by Giuseppe Piazzi, at Palermo Astronomical Observatory.
Dwarf planet Ceres is geologically active
Recently, a new study published in the journal Nature Geoscience offers new information that helps astronomers solve one of the solar system’s mysteries. The team of researchers that conducted the study analyzed the tallest mountain on Ceres, Ahuna Mons, and discovered that Ceres is geologically active, and its surface experiences eruptions.
According to scientists, this new information suggests that part of the dwarf planet’s surface was formed by erupting liquid water. NASA discovered the Ahuna Mons mountain in 2015 and immediately became a point of interest due to its strange appearance. Its height reaches 4000 km, and it has smooth contours that are different from other structures on the planet.
Scientists studied the formation of Ceres’ Ahuna Mons
The researchers used data gathered by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft to form a better understanding of the circumstances under which Ahona Mons was formed. They found that a large concentration of mass lies underneath the mountain. To observe Ahona Mons’ structure better, the scientists used computer models to examine the bizarre material below. The results explain the origin of the Ahona Mons mountain.
The mass was made up of salt and rocky mud originating from deep under the surface and going through the dwarf planet’s icy crust to form the strangely-structured mountain. To further see Ahuna Mon’s structure, they used computer modeling to see the materials below. Results provided the researchers with a surprising explanation for the origin of the strange mountain.