Water On Dwarf Planet Ceres Detected By Herschel Telescope - ESA & NASA Efforts

Scientists, with the help of Herschel Telescope, have conclusively detected the presence of water on a dwarf planet, Ceres present in the asteroid belt, reports the web release of Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) of NASA. Ceres was identified as the largest asteroid till 2006, when it was classified as a dwarf planet due to its large size, i.e. 950km (in diameter) approximately. Though, until recently, Ceres was hypothesized to have a thick ice mantle, it was never confirmed. But the far-infrared vision of Herschel’s has decisively detected the presence. The icy surface of the dwarf planet emanates plumes of water vapor when it is in the warmer region. "This is the first time water vapor has been unequivocally detected on Ceres or any other object in the asteroid belt and provides proof that Ceres has an icy surface and an atmosphere," said Michael Küppers of European Space Agency in Spain. Herschel is primarily a European Space Agency mission with major contributions from NASA.


The findings have hit a perfect timing for NASA’s ‘Dawn’ Mission, as it is headed towards Ceres for studying it up and close. Dawn is expected to reach Ceres by the spring of 2015. It is believed that if melted, the icy surface would produce fresh water that would amount to be more than that on earth.


“Here is what scientists think is happening: when Ceres swings through the part of its orbit that is closer to the sun, a portion of its icy surface becomes warm enough to cause water vapor to escape in plumes at a rate of about 6 kilograms (13 pounds) per second. When Ceres is in the colder part of its orbit, no water escapes,” as propagated by the web release of JPL. Scientist could identify the dark spots as water sources after studying the patterns of plumes coming in and out of Herschel’s view over the period of weeks and months together.

Source: #-Link-Snipped-#


  • micheal john
    micheal john
    now we can have water from space

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