NASA Dawn nears encounter with dwarf planet Ceres

By Anees March 5, 2015 02:07

NASA Dawn nears encounter with dwarf planet Ceres

The mission aims to shed light on the origins of the solar system 4.5 billion years ago, from its “rough and tumble environment of the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter,” said mission director Marc Rayman of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

Already scientists are intrigued by the appearance of two bright spots on Ceres.

“What are they? At this point, the clearest answer is that the answer is unknown,” Rayman wrote on his blog.

Also Read:  Sending signals to aliens can result in alien invasion

The dwarf planet, which has an average diameter of 590 miles (950 kilometers), makes a full rotation every nine hours, and NASA is hoping for a wealth of data once the spacecraft’s orbit begins.

“Dawn is about to make history,” said Robert Mase, project manager for the Dawn mission at NASA JPL in Pasadena, California.

“Our team is ready and eager to find out what Ceres has in store for us.”

Experts will be looking for signs of geologic activity, via changes in these bright spots, or other features on Ceres’ surface over time.

The latest images came from Dawn when it was 25,000 miles (40,000 kilometers) away on February 25.

This image was taken by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft of dwarf planet Ceres on February 19, 2015 from a distance of nearly 29,000 miles (46,000 kilometers). The Dawn probe en route to Ceres broadcast footage of the smallest dwarf planet in the solar system on which appear two mysterious bright spots .

The celestial body was first spotted by Sicilian astronomer Father Giuseppe Piazzi in 1801.

“Ceres was initially classified as a planet and later called an asteroid. In recognition of its planet-like qualities, Ceres was designated a dwarf planet in 2006, along with Pluto and Eris,” NASA said.

Ceres is named after the Roman goddess of agriculture and harvests.

The spacecraft on its way to circle it was launched in September 2007.

First, Dawn explored the giant asteroid Vesta for 14 months in 2011 and 2012, then made its way toward Ceres.

“This two-stop tour of our solar system is made possible by Dawn’s ion propulsion system, its three ion engines being much more efficient than chemical propulsion,” NASA said.

The exploration of Vesta and Ceres helps scientists understand how objects form in space.

“Both Vesta and Ceres were on their way to becoming planets, but their development was interrupted by the gravity of Jupiter,” said Carol Raymond, deputy project scientist at JPL.

“These two bodies are like fossils from the dawn of the solar system, and they shed light on its origins.”

Jim Green, director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division, said he hopes Dawn will “contribute significant breakthroughs in our understanding of how the solar system formed.”

NASA has partnered with the German Aerospace Center, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Italian Space Agency and Italian National Astrophysical Institute on the mission.

Next year, the US space agency plans to launch its Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource Identification-Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft, to “study a large asteroid in unprecedented detail and return samples to Earth,” NASA said.


LATEST: NASA revelation about water on Mars



By Anees March 5, 2015 02:07
  • ebayer

    Are they reflections?
    Are they illuminated by some natural or artificial power source?

  • p3orion

    “That’s no moon… it’s a space station.”
    “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”

  • Gallen_Dugall

    I hope Dawn gets a better greeting than Dorothy got.

  • Boogiedude

    Two bright spots? Can’t be Democrats…

  • HeatherMaeC

    Ion engine? Who knew?

  • Zooter


  • fcabanski

    The first image is an artist’s rendition of an alien world. Why include it, without explanation, with this story?

  • disqus_0m4y0Of7Nn

    It’s a Klendathu spy base.

  • Marty Moose

    The mysterious lights are easy to explain – a lightning bug landed on the camera lens.

  • disqus-vx9

    Stupid aliens with their laser pointers…..

  • Guest

    God made that. so awesome!

  • dillon

    lame, what about mars, oh we had to cancel those plans have to feed too many welfare recipients

  • Nice to see water reflecting light on Ceres.
    What other wonders does it hold?

  • American Serfer

    Methane? Thy Planet farts in our general direction. Life is out there

  • Triarii


  • MR. TRUTH!

    + Destroyed our national sovereignty
    + Destroyed healthcare
    + Destroyed the sanctity of marriage
    + Turned race relations back 100 years
    + Quadrupled the number of people on food stamps
    + Restarted the Cold War
    + Turned our Military into a gay bath house
    + Reverted the middle east back into the middle ages
    + Turned the IRS and NSA into the KGB
    + Doubled the national debt
    + Infested America with Foreign Diseases
    + Wasted Billions of taxpayer $ on the Scam of “Global Warming”
    + Greatly empowered and supported Islamic radicals
    + Flooded America with illegal Aliens, Muslims and Africans

  • Sputnik

    Bright spots… maybe a Starbucks.. and an Asian Palace..

  • Buffalobob

    Someone left their headlights on.

  • Juanita Broaddrick’s Upper Lip

    Dwarf planet?

    How insensitive can you be?

    Little people planet — now, that’s more like it.

    And now you know where midgets come from.


    How insensitive can you be?

  • TroyGale

    I used to have respect for NASA, but since it became a political hack for whatever Admin was in power, I just consider them another Government Agency we could do without.

  • glenp

    my dr told me how to cure my asteroids w prep H

  • mrbarry

    so…..what the fk are those Headlights coming from

  • Nick Danger

    Very cool. Thank you JPL. It will be interesting to see what those spots are in addition to other findings.

  • carl6352

    wow! those two bright spots are very profound. they also seem to be close together. if it were not for that it would just be a ball of rock! they seem to be extremely bright to be seen from that distance also..

  • KevinPhillipsBong

    Oh, the travel agent’s gonna hear about this. It don’t look nuffin’ like the brochure.

  • P.C.Person

    It’s wrong to call it a “dwarf planet”; the politically correct term is “little person planet”.

  • hoobijoob

    Allahu Akbar! Praise be to Allah for his gift of this space craft and his gift of the universe! Praise be to Allah for his gift of Algebra to his followers without which we would never be there.

  • Ebama Obola

    NASA didn’t build dat. Someone else made dat happen.

  • Ebama Obola

    NASA didn’t build that.

  • Ebama Obola

    Apparently ARYNES isn’t an Obama Free Speech Zone.

  • RKO

    Thank you for the distraction from the meltdown of our civilization. Was much needed….do they have a Days Inn?

  • steve b


  • Leon

    Cool! release the raw pics and let’s see some otherworldly creatures!

  • mike meyers

    who cares nothing is out there.

  • Clifford clammy

    Brian Williams has been there. Just ask him. He will email you the photos.

  • Just One Moment

    Awesome! Can’t wait to see more photos. And that Ion engine sounds awesome too!

  • Dindu Fragic

    It is the reflection of the light from phart laser system.

  • IdidYourMom

    Why are we there? What could Ceres possibly be hiding from our telescopes that would require hundreds of million if not billions of dollars requiring us to visit in person? Life? Liberals with common sense? Truth telling Progressives maybe? Now I’m a 60’s, 70’s kid and I’m all for a space race to beat all space races. But spending that kind of money to visit the little planet that couldn’t would have served us much better building robots to eliminate Muslims, Nazi’s, and liberals then go on a 10 year treasure hunt to find diamonds and gold in the Asteroid belt. I’m guessing the time and money we spent going to Ceres we could have built a way station on both the moon and Mars.We could pretty much melt Iran and North Korea with a moon based rail gun and a few tons of moon rock. Problem solved, nukes would now become obsolete and The US would command the planets attention once more.

    These glassy eyed scientist creating hype to draw a government grant (Pay Check) need to take their ritalin and focus…FOCUS

  • Stelex

    Its amazing how far we’ve come since first entering space…….godspeed and looking forward to the data

  • hgjhfjk

    troll away

  • alex

    That’s my Planet. I claim it. Planet ‘Alex One’!

  • Arizona Matt

    It is better to remain quiet and let others think you know nothing than to open your mouth and remove all doubt…

  • Chuck Stamford

    “These two bodies are like fossils from the dawn of the solar system…”

    In what sense are they like “fossils”? Are they older than earth? Are they “fossilized” in any normal sense of the word? Is there some theory that holds earth “evolved” from Ceres?

    Is it just me, or do excited scientists say the weirdest things when some reporter sticks a microphone or tape recorder in their face?

  • Chuck Stamford

    You’re behind the times. The proper nomenclature is now “size challenged planet”.

  • Chuck Stamford

    No, it’s “size challenged planet”.

  • Chuck Stamford

    Maybe those are the headlights. Or maybe Ceres just had two bright ideas.

  • Chuck Stamford

    When was it ever anything but a “political hack for whatever Admin was in power”?

  • Chuck Stamford

    Now that’s funny!

  • G Bailey

    Read the last chapter of the Bible. Learn how it all ends (…shortly).

  • VendicarDecarian0

    Ceres is the home planet of the pod people, who control your mind with their moon beams.

  • Chuck Stamford

    Little pixies skimming across the water, leaving pastel wakes behind their dainty toes.

    It’s a rock. Excuse me…its a “fossil” rock. There’s a “wonder” right there. Who knew there were such things as fossil rocks.

    And now we have a $472 million photo of it. We could have built four Disneylands for that price…just to give that price tag some “earthly” perspective. So what’s the better buy? A close-up view of a giant rock floating in space we’ve seen for decades now through Hubble, or four new happiest places on earth? I don’t know about you, but I’d really like to see shorter lines for Space Mountain for my $472 million.

  • VendicarDecarian0

    I like Marcos. He is such a kook.

  • VendicarDecarian0

    Certainly not your future.

  • VendicarDecarian0

    No. You are thinking of the planet of the Midget People, otherwise known as Planet ConservaTard.

  • Chuck Stamford

    Are they real or are they Memorex?

  • Richard_L_Kent

    The bright spots are stadium lights. It is, after all, the world Ceres.

  • VendicarDecarian0

    Is your civilization melting down?

    Awwwww.. Poor Republican.

  • VendicarDecarian0

    True. Where would the world be without Algebra and higher learning.

    Probably where Republicans are today.

  • VendicarDecarian0

    The contrast on the photo is highly enhanced due to the very low lighing levels at the orbit of Ceres.

  • VendicarDecarian0

    Recent impacts most likely or snow.

  • VendicarDecarian0

    Republicans have long been the enemy of NASA

  • bmwmc101

    Those bright spots are parking meters. Hope NASA brought some change with them.

  • orenthal

    Dey be rasist. dey shoulda named it Dawnesha and shiit.

  • mal/mute

    Ceres the Goddess of Motherhood … maternal instincts …crops fertility agriculture
    the perfect name for science with funding controlled by Marxists to achieve what was written in the `1800s and explain life.

    We have yet another Jesuit about to announce a run at the Presidency making the list grow to 6 on both sides of the aisle.
    The stunning retirement of Benedict installed the first Jesuit Pope. There are Satanic forces working to overthrow nations while we witness be-headings on the evening news in a Progressively shocking and disturbing manner.

    Jesuits authored the Big Bang Theory Jesuits own the San Hadron Collider ..they operate the atomic telescopes at the World’s Observatories.

    Research the mysterious deaths of the striking number of Astronomers killed the past decade. there have been dozens..
    There is a circumstantial if not direct relationship between the Pope’s Army and a goal of a narrative destroying Faith..

  • Pepperspray137

    Just don’t crash the multi-billion dollar spacecraft like the Europeans.

  • letmepicyou

    My thoughts have always been that the asteroid belt wasn’t a “planet denied” but rather a planet destroyed by some cataclysmic event such as like what formed our own moon. Gravitational interactions tend to help draw objects together, not prevent such.

  • bubbasayswhat

    We are still looking for this Al Gebra, and when we find him, it won’t be pretty! Love, from the NSA.

  • Turk Sandwich

    Great comments. lol

  • Tattooed

    Iiberal troll.

  • CruzerDog

    Eliminating Liberals with robots, Ok, I’m with you! lol

  • Eric The Bread

    God didn’t build that. Someone else made that happen.

  • Eric The Bread

    Obviously not! LOL

  • jrt 82

    Well, perhaps it is the core of a planet that used to be in that orbit. If that’s the case, there could be enough pure iron and nickel for 3 generations of unbridled manufacturing. Don’t forget of the possible gold, platinum, etc.

    BTW, there is enough gold and earth’s core to cover the surface in a foot of gold. Before you tell me it can’t be (whatever), I remind you that there is so much that we don’t know.

  • ☀️Curious Georgette

    You mean since they’re perverting science into being a religion that it’s something you can do without: their “science.” I hear ya. It’s so wearing to have the 24/7 sermon machine going.

  • fierro1944

    Vendi: It’s 8:40 AM EST, you have posted four times and haven’t received a single up vote. Could it be you are simply a raving lib and incapable of making relevant comments that others actually care about? Maybe you should go take a nap instead.

  • Jason Lalli


  • UK1981

    Calling it a dwarf planet is insensitive. They prefer to be called “little planets”.

  • Mark Chapman

    That’s a cat toy. Boy, NASA executives are stealing so much money this is all they can afford. Nice try. Take a picture of a cat toy and Americans are fixated on it. WOW look at that dwarf planet! OMG!

  • Dj

    How is studying Ceres going to advance NASA’a core mission of Muslim outreach? Are they going to find new lifeforms to subjugate, rape and behead?

  • Joseph M. Callan

    Take off the tinfoil hat please.

  • doug1961

    Apparently, Jesuits own you.

  • E

    Democrats twist science to their prejudices. Global warming-Holy Writ and unquestionable. GMOs safe–apostasy. Liberal logic: if it suits our agenda of destroying capitalism, then it’s true. Liberal debate: Toss out insults.

  • War_Machine2

    Run away!!!!! It’s a Death Star!

    Strange voice broadcasts from the surface of Ceres…”As you can see, my young apprentice, your friends have failed. Now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL battle station!”

  • Abqaiq

    Let’s hope it’s not a repository for xenopolycythemia

  • Doh

    Hillary’s email servers.

  • Mariko Nightfire

    And which political party opposed and was largely responsible for ending manned space travel beyond the earth after the last lunar landing in 1972?

  • searcher0

    oh, no. you want to see the Death Star? look up Jupiter’s moon Mimas, it even has a crater that looks like the planet destroying weapon on the northern hemisphere.

  • searcher0

    I just posted a comment on Jupiter’s moon Mimas looking like the Death Star, why does it need approval?

  • AR_Libertarian

    Man! That is so funny. You should go to Hollywood!

  • GPS

    gravity of Saturn and Jupiter interact in strange ways because of their orbits and cause objects to be thrown into or out of prior orbits and can slingshot object out of inner solar system orbits.

  • Stephen Roberts

    IT’S A TRAP!

  • brandon467

    This is all well and good, but where the hell did the artist rendition come from? They sure aren’t going to find a beach with the tide rolling in on Ceres, much less a planet with water and clouds rising above the horizon.

  • Shrugged

    I hope the lights are the new Hollywood – perhaps Sony’s new home – so they can leave planet earth.

  • hoobijoob

    I guess science and discovery is bad? Thanks for the insight.

  • Shrugged

    Do you have any clue how challenging and aggressive landing a craft on a moving comet is??? You make it sound like they screwed around and didn’t care when even getting ON the surface was an amazing feat.

  • SkyHunter

    you seem to be quite obsessed by Vendicar. Perhaps it is time for your nappy.

  • Shrugged

    Word play of the day

  • SkyHunter

    Reality does have a liberal bias, so that works in the democrats favor. And as for who is tossing out insults… well we can let the readers decide.

  • Herb

    I certainly applaud NASA’s efforts to find new civilizations that we may be able to borrow money from.

  • rockribbed

    “Alternative size planet” is correct

  • Darin Warren

    Maybe that’s where the virgins are being kept

  • Dj

    Is that where she’s keeping them?

  • mal/mute

    typical deflections .. we have a privatized NASA .. and a choice between a Clinton ..a Bush .. and 7 Jesuit Campaigns from both sides of the aisle
    for our next President .. and science relegated to demagoguery advancing Progressive myth… laugh about that secular cheerleaders

  • Dorf Munder

    HA excellent catch!

  • It beats the hell out just feeding that money to the poor.
    We can’t have nice things, because we have to feed, and provide circuses to poor people!

  • LysolMotorola

    They didn’t “crash” it. They just figured out how to land a solar powered probe in a spot where it will not get any sunlight. Those non-violent Europeans can’t even come up with a good ol’ smasheroo ending.

  • $19200860

    That’s punny stuff right there. Well done Richard. About time we see some real humor amid these trolls and haters.

  • Jo Mama

    I hope they find Jesus

  • Jo Mama


  • Jo Mama

    I hope the find Jezus

  • [email protected]


  • jamesjq

    Sounds Dan Brown-ish.

  • B. Nolk Y-Z


    Now hold on while I check my GPS tracking weather satellite app on my smart-phone

  • B. Nolk Y-Z


    Now hold on while I check my GPS tracking weather satellite app on my smart-phone

  • [email protected]

    Rosetta’s mission attempted a soft landing of its Philae probe. It didn’t crash, it bounced around a bit before settling onto the surface. Although the landing probe wasn’t completely successful, it did transmit a good amount of data before its batteries ran out.

  • DamnRinos

    Brian Williams is reporting that Bill O’Reilly has explored this dwarf plant during the apollo missions to the moon.

  • Tinderbox

    What are the serious possibilities for what those bright spots could be? No jokes please. I’m thinking volcanic activity, but I don’t know if Ceres is large enough for that.

  • Arrid Extra Dry

    looks like tommy lee jones face

  • IdidYourMom

    wrong, I’m a liberal pisser oner

  • IdidYourMom

    If they want to control my mind maybe they should set their sights a bit higher.

  • IdidYourMom


  • scott

    I am not sure why so many people believe NASA is stealing money when they account for such a small portion of our yearly expenses. Why not attack the Dept. of D. or Dept. of Ag? Nasa’s yearly budget is under $20 billion dollars and while there is undoubtedly waste they are a piglet among a bunch of hogs at the government feed trough.
    In 2003 the Dept. of the Treasury identified missing funds that eclipse the entire Nasa annual budget. Taken from the Treasury report for 2003: “The unreconciled transactions are funds for which auditors cannot account: The government knows that $25 billion was spent by someone, somewhere, on something, but auditors do not know who spent it, where it was spent, or on what it was spent” Direct your angst at someone who really deserves it; assuming you can find out who they are.

  • Joe McDonald

    Made me laugh. Well.. chuckle. The laugh was there but it felt suppressed. I stand with chuckle.

    You made me chuckle.

  • TStephen

    “The latest images came from Dawn when it was 25,000 miles (40,000 kilometers) away on February 25.”

    Ten days ago? What has NASA been doing, saving film? (sarcasm)

    Maybe they decided they couldn’t release any more pictures of the lights until they come up with a plausible (and non-classified) explanation?!


  • yewzernayme

    That planet could use some man-made global warming.

  • bigfatslob

    CENSORSHIP, this is a moooz-lim site if you hadn’t noticed

  • KastleBravo

    Mystery Solved! My theory as to what is causing the bright spots on Ceres is ice. Here is my theory on how it got there:

    I postulate that the surface of Ceres is a thin (3-30 meters) layer of pulverized asteroid. And just below this dust/rock layer are frozen seas that fill in the low spots, and help to give the dwarf planet its ball-like appearance.

    The bright spots are places where this subterranean sea has been exposed by an asteroid or comet strike that blows off the dust and rock layer. The strike makes a crater and generates heat, which melts the ice below the surface and allows it to pool at the bottom of the new crater.

    The light reflected is less that the coefficient expected from water or ice alone because the melted area mixes with the surface material and refreezes rapidly. This mixing and rapid re-freezing traps the surface dust and rock in the ice, which diminishes the amount of the light that is reflected.

  • bonestabone

    So for half a billion we get some nice high-res photos of a desolate asteroid? It’s nice to have the chance to study space with explorations like this, but is the cost really justified in this case?

  • Screech Screecher

    It is like a fossil in the sense that it was in the process of becoming a planet but that process interrupted and never completed. It seems an appropriate analogy.

  • bgbs

    It’s probably russian mirrors that say “we were here first”

  • Terry T

    Uuugh..looks like reflected Ice to me..referring to the ‘spots’. NASA always does this, sensationalizes things that turn out to be nothing. Gotta provide money for the White Collar Welfare.

  • DmaxD

    It’s a penal colony on the planetoid AssWitz, where forced labor of imprisoned Ferengi is used to mine dilithium crystals.

  • Kenny

    Why don’t they have a more recent picture than February 25? Are they trying to conserve its battery?

  • Jon

    They prefer to be called “Little Planets”!!!

  • Jackson Savage

    Wait a minute – I’m just barely making a word plastered in black near the equator. It says ……..
    “Teitelist”! OMG – So that’s where I hit it.
    Caddy ?? What club should I use ??

  • Malcolm Reynolds

    Democrats have long been the enemy of the Republic.

  • the_logician

    They also tend to dress funny for their interviews.

  • InvitedGuest

    Agreed. What hogwash for NASA to continue the “failed planet” scenario. If this were the case there would “asteroids” elsewhere, instead of obvious Bode’s Law space.

  • Muadib32

    The spacecraft’s manufacturer, Orbital Sciences Corporation,
    appealed NASA’s decision, offering to build the spacecraft at cost,
    forgoing any profit in order to gain experience in a new market field.
    NASA then put the cancellation under review,[14] and on March 27, 2006, it was announced that the mission would not be cancelled after all.[15][16] In the last week of September 2006, the Dawn
    mission’s instrument payload integration reached full functionality.
    Although originally projected to cost US$373 million, cost overruns
    inflated the final cost of the mission to US$446 million in 2007.[17] The Dawn mission team is led by Christopher T. Russell……………………………….that comes to about $1.25 for everybody in the USA. Could maybe buy a coffee at Holiday……..these things are cheap so I’m not following the thought process???—–Thankx 🙂

  • janger

    Don’t take this thing too Ceres-ously! Uranus is the one to watch!

  • Melchizedek

    And the vultures come to feed.

  • In the know

    The death star is at 1600 Penn Ave Washing DC

  • David

    Ceres is very much a proto-planet… the sort of large objects in the early solar system that became the ‘root’ of larger planets like Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars. “Our” terrestrial planets all involved the coalescence of hundreds of small worldlets like Ceres, which in the process ‘melted’ them, led to differentiation, etc. Ceres is primeval, and thus… like a fossil… a window into what the early solar system was like. Earth didn’t ‘evolve’ from Ceres, it developed in a similar process. The last major coalescence was when the large planetoid called Theia in theory hit the pre-Earth (or ur-Earth, or Urth) in a grazing-type small angle, low momentum way, and resulted in our planet’s final shape with much of the debris forming the Moon.

  • David

    No, but they left a light on for you… and a spare. Must be a Motel 12.

  • don2dive

    Alter your spelling on key words like hildabeast and dethstarrr to foil their censor bots.

  • BadWhisky

    Careful what you look for, you might find it; or, it might find you.

  • That puzzles me too, unless they’re looking for swine free burial plots…

  • CarlSagan

    It’s not supposed to be called a dwarf planet; the correct term is Little Person planet.

  • WestHoustonGeo

    As puns go that is a real groaner (i.e., a very good pun). 😉

  • Lonerwithaboner420

    Are the 2 rovers and 5 orbiters not good enough for you?

  • Bud

    Luke, Luke use the force Luke we must save Earth………….Give me one good reason, Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi, why……………Crap, Luke, you got me, I can’t………..Neither can, I, Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi, neither can, I…………..Lets go to Mos Eisley cantina for a couple of cold one and let Earth stay F##K-UP.

  • RobL

    I don’t understand. On February 25, eight days ago, this thing was 25,000 miles away from Ceres. It still isn’t there yet. But soon will be. Eight days is 192 hours. That means Dawn is traveling something less than 130 miles per hour? Seems like it ought to be able to go faster than that.

  • sumday

    I’ll just say this- for a country that is supposed to have separation of church and state I find it ironic how obsessed NASA is with all things Egyptian. Seems every single mission is named after Egyptian mythology, AND one must question why NASA which is tax payer funded would allow religious rituals to go on- such as Armstrong preforming a Mason’s ritual on
    the moon.

  • TexasRick8444

    A dwarf planet, eh. Wonder of Gimli lives there.

  • bigshow

    A message was intercepted from the dwarf planet. it began with “Let me be clear” followed by multiple “uh’s” and “um’s”, several “make no doubt”‘s and a closing statement with an emphasis on “shared sacrifice”.

  • Keren Smith
  • Sara Polin

    Did you read this ? it says
    Mars ocean was bigger than the Arctic: NASA

  • Kathe braid

    Mars ocean was bigger than the Arctic: NASA


    NASA said its researchers were especially interested in regions near the
    north and south poles, because the polar ice caps are the planet’s
    largest known reservoir of water. Read this too

  • Chuck Stamford

    I don’t normally do this, but in this case, because the misspelling will obscure the humor in the joke for some (which, btw, was great! Made me chuckle), the brand name of the golf ball is “Titleist”. Having teed up hundreds of the suckers before waving good-bye to them forever, as they sailed deep into the woods, my personal expertise in this area is beyond question.

  • Chuck Stamford

    David, let me begin by assuring you I know and understand the current, very weak in my estimation, cosmological theory of planet formation.

    However, the point I was making assumes the current planet formation theory. According to that theory Earth and the other planets were not formed out of the rubble in the asteroid belt as Ceres was. They were formed out of the dust disk surrounding the nascent star we call the Sun. Earth’s formation has next to nothing to do with the asteroid belt. Ceres’ formation, according to our working theory, depends entirely on it. This makes the term “fossil” for Ceres relationship to Earth, or to any of the other planets, an abuse of language and an absurdly misleading term. A much more accurate metaphor, if we must resort to metaphors here, is that all the planets and Ceres and every rock in the asteroid belt are all children of that primeval, and now extinct solar dust disk. And when we employ that metaphor to describe the relationship Ceres has to Earth and the other planets, we begin to see just how misleading calling Ceres a “fossil” in relation to Earth and the other planets actually is. It’s like calling apes fossil humans, and who wouldn’t be annoyed if a scientist did that?

    Now, granted, given the compartmentalization of modern higher education, we have to expect some of this egregious abuse of English by scientists. After all, they probably spent only about ten minutes studying the humanities, and the rest of the time on their chosen area of inquiry. But when you start to obscure the scientific facts of the matter by your insistence on working Darwinian concepts like “fossil” into the description that don’t fit, it’s time to lodge a complaint…and I did.

  • Pepperspray137

    When a landing doesn’t go as expected and the vehicle is no longer operable after touchdown, that’s called a crash. Explosions are not needed for the definition to be fitting.

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