Evidence for Icy Crust Found at Ceres’ Occator Crater

A new analysis of neutron detector data from the Dawn spacecraft has found evidence of an icy crust within Ceres’ famous Occator Crater.

IMAGE: The study focused on Occator crater (left), which contains Ceres’ most prominent bright spots. The newly reported map (right) reveals higher concentrations of hydrogen than expected if the near sub-surface within Occator crater and its ejecta blanket was ice free. Results indicate that the crustal materials excavated by the crater-forming impact were rich in water ice. CREDIT: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA and Prettyman et al. (2021).

Occator Crater on the dwarf planet Ceres gained much attention during the days of the Dawn mission at the small world when bright spots were imaged…



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Beth Johnson

Planetary scientist, podcast host. Communication specialist for SETI Institute and Planetary Science Institute. Buy me a coffee: https://ko-fi.com/planetarypan