I don’t know about you, but this is making me absolutely nuts!
My rational adult brain understands that I only need to be patient a little while longer. In August, the Dawn spacecraft will skim above the surface of Ceres at a mere 230 miles. Soon after that, we will hopefully receive a convincing explanation of what those bright, shiny spots are on Ceres. But until then, I’m losing sleep.
Fortunately, the photos from Ceres have improved as the Dawn spacecraft has gotten closer. But rather than solve the riddle, each photographic improvement has bought more questions.
Just what the heck are those mysterious, shiny patches? Our greatest minds are postulating subsurface ice reflecting sunlight, or ice volcanoes, or even salt. Me? Well I’m not convinced that the sun can light up ice that brightly from 257 million miles away. I could be wrong.
And ice volcanoes? Shiny salt? Sigh.
So just what the heck are they anyway??