Recently, the scientists studying the dwarf planet Ceres have noticed that the very existence of specific chemical composites on the planet’s surface may mean that the planet is still developing, therefore, growing.
A crew of scientists, managed by Filippo Giacomo Carrozzo from the Italian Paleontology and Astrophysics Institute, examined the data gathered with the NASA Dawn probe in order to solve out some ambiguities about the Ceres’ chemical structure.
Ceres is the biggest object ever found inside the asteroid belt which is located between Mars and Jupiter.
According to a priorly conducted investigation of the Ceres dwarf planet by the NASA Dawn probe, the tiny planet’s surface presents carbonates, which are minerals very commonly met on the Earth and the main compounds in the sedimentary rocks structures.
Ceres is still growing and it might have held water in its past
The science team led by Carrozzo mapped the existence of carbonates on the Ceres’ surface using the Dawn visible-infrared mapping instrument.
The researchers measured the specific wavelengths for each specific chemical composite in part. Then, they were able to design a map that shows how broadly are the chemical composites distributed on the Ceres’ surface.
Accordingly, the scientists were able to conclude that the mostly present carbonate on Ceres is the magnesium carbonate and sodium carbonates, in special the Na2CO3 compound – nitrate.
The discovery of these carbonates compounds on the surfaces of other planets may imply that in the far-distant past, these planets held water.
The recent discoveries were absolutely unexpected and now, the researchers started to see Ceres as something else than a simple round rock that’s orbiting the Sun hiding within the asteroids belt.
The carbonates composites on the Ceres’ surface have been discovered on broad areas of several kilometers wide, especially in the close proximity of impact craters, which could mean that at least the sodium carbonates could emerge from the dwarf planet’s underground upon impacts with meteorites and asteroids.