The Mystery of Bright Lights on Dwarf Planet Ceres

Bright Lights on Dwarf Planet Ceres, pictured by NASA’s Dawn space probe. Ceres is the largest object in the asteroid belt, which lies between Mars and Jupiter. The diameter of dwarf planet Ceres is about 950 kilometers. Images taken nearly 46,000 kilometres from Ceres show that a bright spot on the planet, which scientists discovered previously, appears next to another slightly darker spot, NASA said in a news release. Scientists expect to receive better views of the mystery lights as the spacecraft closes in and spirals nearer the dwarf planet Ceres on March 6.

60 billion alien planets in a manned space of red dwarfs

Published the new research, allowing to calculate influence of clouds on climate of alien planets, rotating round red dwarfs. Conclusions of participants of the joint group of the Chicago and Northwest universities are based on exact computer modeling of behavior of clouds in the atmosphere of alien planets. But besides purely scientific interest, this research also allows to draw a conclusion that existence of a cloudy cover twice expands a manned space of red dwarfs. And it means that only in one galaxy in a manned zone of the stars there can be over 60 billion alien planets. The formula for calculation of a manned space of alien planets is places where they can keep liquid water on the surface. But it is insufficiently exact as almost doesn’t consider existence of clouds in the atmosphere of exoplanet.

Dawn Gets 40 Extra Days Time to Explore Vesta

NASA’s Dawn mission has received official confirmation that 40 extra days have been added to its exploration of the giant asteroid Vesta, the second most massive object in the main asteroid belt. The mission extension allows Dawn to continue its scientific observations at asteroid Vesta until August 26, while still arriving at the dwarf planet Ceres at the same originally scheduled target date in February 2015.

Star HD 10180 May Harbor Record Number of Planets

A sun-like star some 127 light years away may harbor a record number of planets, nine, spotted in another solar system. Our own solar system only possesses eight planets, with the recent demotion of Pluto to dwarf planet status by astronomers. Accepted for publication by the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics, the report by astronomer Mikko Tuomi of the United Kingdom’s University of Hertfordshire, looks at HD 10180, an often-examined star in the constellation of Hydrus, the water snake.

Pluto May Have Rings

Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune all have rings, leaving Pluto as the only outer planet without rings. But PSI Senior Scientist Henry Throop would love to change that. Using both giant telescopes on Earth, and a small spacecraft currently on its way to Pluto, Throop is searching for signs that Pluto may have rings orbiting it, just like its neighbors. Astronomers expect that Pluto could well have rings, they’ve just never been discovered. Until now astronomers haven’t found any rings. Throop is working with NASA’s New Horizons mission, which is sending a spacecraft to Pluto, to arrive in 2015.

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