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Published:January 29th, 2014 17:32 EST
NASA's Hershel Mission Spots Evidence of Water Vapor on Dwarf Planet Known as Ceres

NASA's Hershel Mission Spots Evidence of Water Vapor on Dwarf Planet Known as Ceres

By Ron G Anselm


"That Cool and Refreshing clear and odorless Liquid we drink on a hot summer`s day is more Elusive than Spotting a Cougar in the Mountains of the Great Northwest." (Anselm, R.)

And it really is when trying to find it in unexplored territories....

Water, the Lifeblood of any and all Living and Breathing elements is probably the Most Elusive Element in our Solar System but Scientists the World over Still do any and everything they can to find it. One of the concepts to trying to find water in our Solar System and normally it will be found if really out there on some planet, Mars, or even a Dwarf Planet inhabiting air space is the where there is water there is more than likely living things or living organisms as scientist would put it. We are humans are always trying to seek out other forms of life and explorer new territories to try to find new answers to the many question that have baffled the world of science and astronomy over the past many decades we have been searching.

Recently, NASA`s Hershel`s telescope detected the possibility of water on the dwarf planet known as Ceres. Ceres is located in the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, Between 2011 and 2013 observations by the ESA`s Hershel Space Observatory found that Ceres has a thin water vapor atmosphere and this new find makes this the first time any object within the asteroid belt has been seen to have the possibility of water in or on it.

Hypothesis from scientists are that when Ceres warms up from its normal icy surface that there is the possibility that plumes of water vapor shoot up periodically. Ceres is known as a dwarf planet and the definition of a dwarf planet is an object that is larger than a normal asteroid but smaller to be classified as a planet.

Michael Kuppers of ESA in Spain and is also the lead author of a paper in the journal Nature said "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. (Kuppers, M.)

So, maybe Ceres may be found in the future to have sustained life living in its ever so mystical existence but if so NASA is probably sure to eventually find that is really does if true to be found.

The project that is responsible for finding this new information is the NASA`s Dawn Mission which is now on its way to study Ceres more after the mission spent more than a year orbiting the large asteroid known as Vesta. Dawn is scheduled to arrive at Ceres in the spring of 2015. The mission will focus on the surface of Ceres which will give scientist more detail as to if the existence is real on the surface of the dwarf planet.

Carol Raymond who is the deputy principal investigator for Dawn at NASA`s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California commented on this, "We`ve got a spacecraft on the way to Ceres, so we don`t have to wait long before getting more context on this intriguing result, right from the source itself. Dawn will map the geology and chemistry of the surface in high-resolution, revealing the processes that drive the outgassing activity." (Raymond, C.)

Scientists believe that Ceres has rock in its interior but also has a mantle of thick layered ice that if melted would amount to more water than we have here on Earth.

The hypothesis of the existence of ice on Ceres has really been very elusive and has really not been stated as a fact that water does exist. Until now when Hershel which is equipped with far-infrared vision technology finally spotted a clear signature of water vapor on the dwarf planet`s surface. The mystery is that every time Hershel spies on Ceres it does not see the evidence of the existence of water vapor but only has saw the existence of water vapor four different times.

Scientists are putting together a hypothesis as to what this mystery may be and the hypothesis is and what scientist think is happening, when Ceres flies through the area in its orbit that is closer to the sun a portion of its icy surface probably becomes warm enough to cause the water vapor to escape in plumes at a rate of thirteen pounds per second but when Ceres is in the colder part of its orbit no water vapor escapes. So, what then would make sense to this mystery is that when Hershel spots the existence of water vapor on the dwarf planet, Ceres is probably in its normal orbiting cycle near the sun and when Hershel does not see any existence of water vapor Ceres would then be in its colder part of its normal orbiting cycle.

                                                                          Reference


Herschel Telescope Detects Water on Dwarf Planet, (http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Herschel). Retrieved 2014.

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