The bright patches captured by NASA’s spacecraft Dawn months ago might actually indicate the presence of salt, according to scientists.
The mysterious bright spots spotted on the surface of dwarf planet Ceres left scientists baffled as to their origin. Since the beginning of the year, theories to explain their occurrence have been abounding. It was initially said that they might be hinting at the presence of ice, but then, researchers later announced that that was not the case.
Now, it seems that the mystery has finally been dispelled. Dawn’s principal investigator Chris Russell affirmed that the patches might actually be salt deposits.
“We know it’s not ice and we’re pretty sure it’s salt, but we don’t know exactly what salt at the present time,” said Russell in a speech given at European Planetary Science Congress in France last month. His address has been uploaded on YouTube.
This would imply that the surface of Ceres is still active.
As Dawn is getting closer to Ceres, we will hopefully have more answers in the near future.