Those Bright Spots on Ceres

Ceres has more than 130 bright spots. Most of them are associated with impact craters. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Göttingen, Germany, suggest that the bright material could be a type of magnesium sulfate called hexahydrite. Epsom salt is another form of magnesium sulfate. Their theory is that these salt-rich areas were left behind as water-ice sublimated. Impacts from asteroids could have uncovered the mixture of ice and salt from a subsurface layer containing briny water-ice.

The Dawn spacecraft is still in orbit around Ceres. Perhaps additional data will validate this theory.

Video Credit: NASA

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