NASA показало загадочную Цереру в лучах Солнца

Ученые смогли детально рассмотреть поверхность ближайшей к Земле карликовой планеты.

Зонд Dawn сделал уникальные кадры карликовой планеты Цереры, которые помогли проследить за взаимодействием света Солнца с поверхностью планетоида, сообщается на сайте NASA.

Космический аппарат уже два года изучает Цереру, самый большой объект главного пояса астероидов между орбитами Марса и Юпитера. Интерес ученых к этому телу вызван тем, что она является зародышем планеты, остановившимся в развитии.

Первые снимки с зонда Dawn были получены весной 2015 года, вскоре после прибытия к планете. Тогда ученые обнаружили на фото необычные феномены — белые пятна в кратере Оккатор и гору Ахуна высотой четыре километра.

Позже ученые выяснили, что Ахуна не гора, а потухший криовулкан. Белые пятна же оказались источником временной атмосферы Цереры, состоящей из водных паров.

Кроме того, в некоторых частях планеты ученые нашли чистый лед. Это говорит о том, что поверхность Цереры постоянно обновляется, ведь эти льды должны были давно испариться в космос.

Для проверки всех этих фактов команда Dawn еще зимой начала серию очень сложных и продолжительных орбитальных маневров, благодаря которым удалось вывести зонд в точку, расположенную на прямой между Солнцем и Церерой.

Ученые называют эту точку «точкой оппозиции». Благодаря ней зонд смог получить достаточно много уникальных снимков кратера Оккатор и других регионов Цереры.

Новые снимки должны помочь ученым уточнить состав льда на карликовой планете и изучить его подробнее.

Также, планетологам удалось проследить, как свет Солнца взаимодействует с пылью и частицами грунта Цереры, и понять, насколько светлеет поверхность планеты при прямом освещении.

Эта информация, как объясняют ученые, позволяет очень точно оценить размеры частиц грунта, определить, как много в нем пор, и раскрыть многие другие важные свойства.

Ранее Dawn отправил новые детальные снимки «пирамиды» Цереры — загадочной горы Ахуна.


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