EAPS Department Lecture Series - Bethany Ehlmann (Caltech)
"Ceres, an unexpectedly active dwarf planet: Findings from the Dawn mission"
The Dawn mission to explore the largest asteroids, Vesta and Ceres, has uncovered unexpected findings from Ceres, the largest asteroid in the asteroid belt. Believed to be comprised of ice and rock, new Dawn mission data have confirmed these inferences from telescopic data and have also shown evidence of ammoniated phyllosilicates that may suggest an origin further out in the solar system and brines in the Ceres subsurface, extruding to the surface, as recently as a few tens to hundreds of millions of years ago. Here I will describe a selection of the findings from the Dawn mission, mainly focused on composition, that point to the unusual aqueous activity on this body and its modern geological activity.
About this Series
Weekly talks given by leading thinkers in the areas of geology, geophysics, geobiology, geochemistry, atmospheric science, oceanography, climatology, and planetary science. Lectures take place on Wednesdays from 3:45pm in MIT Building 54 room 915, unless otherwise noted.