CERES LIGHTS PHOTOS

Home Page + Blog Site Contents TV Interview 9/3/2017 10/5/2016 TV Interview Radio Interview Report Contents &Section Links MSL Ultraviolet MSL Yr 3 Fall Data MSL Year 3 Summer Data MSL Year 3 Spring Data MSL Yr 2-3 Winter Data MSL Yr 2 Fall Data MSL Yr 2 Summer Data MSL Weather Year 2 MSL Weather Year 1 155-Mile high Mars Plume March 25 2017 Plume Sol 370, 1160,1161, 1300&1301 pressure anomalies MSL Hi Air & Ground Temps MSL Low Temps Warm winter ground temps & life RUNNING WATER ON MARS Report Abstract to 1.2 Report Sec.2-2.1 Report Sec.2.2-2.4 Report 2.5-2.5.2 Report 2.5.3-2.7 Report 3-4.1.2 Report 5 to 6 Report 7-7.2.1 Report 8 Report 9 Report 10-11 Report 12-12.2 Report 12.3-12.5 Report 12.6 Report 13-14 Report 14.1 Report 14.2-14.3 Report 14.4-14.6.2 Report 14.6.3-4 Report 15-19 Report Afterword Report 20 Annex Links Report figure links Diurnal air temp. variation Oxygen&Trees on Mars? Beagle 2 found Adiabatics Concession by Ashima Old MSL Weather 1 Old MSL Weather 2 High and low pressures normalized Soil 2% water MSL Temp. ∆ Mast to Ground Relative humidity Mars sky color Tavis Sensor Suspicion Vailsala Sensor: Phoenix&MSL Mars Temps Fahrenheit Pathfinder pressures Wind Booms & Disinformation Ingersoll Debate Daylight-math-fix Curiosity Geology Early MSL Weather Reports Landing altitudes Mars Mission History & Sites Nuc on Mars? Aldrin's Phobos monolith Ashima/MIT GCM Critique NASA alters temp. data Viking pressure sensors failed Dust Storm Nonsense JPL Press Conference Critique 1 Navigating Mars Phobos Grunt Failure Moving sand & Mars winds Moving rock Data Fudge Fossil found on Mars? Organic Chem found on Mars MSL Sol 200 Anomaly Gil Levin & Labeled Release - Part 1 Levin & Labeled Release - Pt. 2 - Roswell Link Brine on Mars Lights on Ceres Yr 1 Table 1 Spherical life on Mars? Full Report Contents Scale heights REMS flaws MSL Daylength &Temp Missing data ExoMars crash Desai & EDL Sea at Utopia Planitia Mars Mars winter vs. summer temps Rebuttal of REMS Report Unrealistic Ground Low Temps Mt. Sharp pressures & scale height Opacity at MSL

Lights on Ceres - An Unexplained Natural Phenomenon, Or a Sign That We Are Not Alone? Updated 7/1/2016.

Ceres is a dwarf planet located between Mars and Jupiter. It has an equatorial diameter of about 601 miles and a polar diameter of about 556 miles. NASA has asked for help in explaininig strange lights coming from it at the Occator Crater.  It has been said that ice, salt flats, ice, volcanoes or geysers seem to be the predominant theories at the moment, with the bright spots appearing to reflect incoming sunlight towards the spacecraft's cameras. On June 29, 2016 JPL released a study that indicates the crater has the highest concentration of carbonate minerals (mostly sodium carbonate) ever seen outside Earth It has a central pit about 6 miles (10 kilometers) wide with a dome structure at the center, covered in highly reflective material, that has radial and concentric fractures on and around it. Sodium carbonate is a kind of salt found on Earth in hydrothermal environments. They claim the material appears to have come from inside Ceres, because an impacting asteroid could not have delivered it. However, one crucial topic is not addressed in the press release. Was any attempt ever made to photograph the crater when it was in the dark as the Dawn spacecraft orbited it? If what we are seeing is a reflection of sunlight, it should vanish when the sun sets. But the light appears all the way across Ceres from when it first appears on the left limb to the time it disappears on the right limb. Further at the limbs there is no evidence of outgasing that appears. More people select "other" as the cause. It's still not entirely clear that these lights are not due to built structures. 

Animated Figure 1 above shows a sequence of images taken by Nasa's Dawn spacecraft on May 4, 2015, from a distance of 8,400 miles (13,600km), in its RC3 mapping orbit. The image resolution is 0.8 mile (1.3km) per pixel .


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3089818/Mystery-alien-lights-Ceres-never-seen-Dawn-probe-zooms-bright-flashes-4-500-miles-away.html#ixzz3dHwVaywC 

       Note that on the time-lapse view below the lights in the crater when it reaches the right limb of Ceres only go invisible when the walls of the crater obscure them. This again speaks to the fact that the lights are not reflections of the sun. Instead they are originating in the crater. Since the period of rotation of Ceres is about 9 hours 4 minutes, and since the Dawn spacecraft has been in orbit around Ceres from March 6, 2015, there should have been plenty of time to photograph the 50-mile wide crater that contains these lights while the crater was turned away from the sun. Dawn was orbiting Ceres every 3.1 days when the Animated Figure 3 was made, however when the photo in Figure 34 was taken, Dawn was down to 915 miles above series which it orbited every 19.1 hours.

Mapping orbits (2015) and resolution[108]

Orbit

Dates[109]

Altitude
(km)

Orbital period

Resolution
(km/px)

Improvement
over Hubble

RC3

April 23 – May 9, 2015

13,500

15 days

1.3

24×

Survey

June 6 – 30, 2015

4,400

3.1 days

0.41

72×

HAMO

Aug 4 – Oct 15, 2015

1,450

(Figure 34 below is 1,470 km)

19 hours

0.14 (140 m)

215×

LAMO

Dec 8 – end of mission

375

5.5 hours

0.035 (35 m)

850×

 

        In Ben Bova's Sci-Fi novel New Earth astronauts visit a world that looks something like Earth. When they arrive there and enter orbit they are astounded to find a light shining up at them from the planet's night side. Ceres does not look like Earth, but it likely has a liquid water ocean lying between its rocky core and icy mantle (Rivkin et al. 2006) with more fresh water in it than we find on all the Earth. Obviously, if nothing else is true, Ceres would make a great space station. That we have heard nothing about the attempts to image the lights when it is night seems strange. If the lights are seen when Ceres is not facing the sun the chances rise significantly that the anomaly has an intelligent origin. Indeed, Figure 26 seems to suggest that the lights will persist when it is dark.

         There is a basic problem with NASA's discussion of the lights. Rather than give us a coherent explanation of what the lights are, they are asking the public for our opinion. This may seem OK, however the problem lies with the choices that we are given. Figure 34 below shows the latest photo taken from an altitude of 915 miles. As of October 19, 2015 the public has voted for ice (backed by 28%), volcano (10%) salt deposit (11%), geyser (6%), rock (6%) and "other" (39%). What can't they simply offer alien life as a choice? That they don't want to go there is reminiscent of the mocking attitude often displayed toward people who report UFOs. The very nature of the questionnaire may indicate that NASA is looking for an excuse for the lights that will be most plausible to the public. At least they have not suggested swamp gas. As for their approved choices both ice and salt flats should not be so bright when viewed near the limb of the dwarf planet. Volcanoes should have plumes going up into space and deposits around them. These are not seen on the photos. Geyers should display plumes too (again, not seen). There is no known reason why rocks should be so bright. So the plurality of people are right to reach for "other." However, "other" might also include diamonds that might have been formed with an asteroid impact, or that might have been transferred there as a result of an impact on Jupiter or elsewhere. Arthur C. Clark's Sci-Fi novel, 2061: Odyssey Three was based on a such an object being found on Jupiter's moon Europa.  There are theories that it actually rains diamonds on Jupiter and Saturn. Internal reflections might help the light to be seen at the limbs of Ceres. Further, diamonds are associated with the Popigai impact crater in Russia. The site of the bright lights on Ceres is an impact crater. Note: If the Government knows that there are trendendous quantities of diamonds on Ceres they would probably not announce it now simply because it would radically drive down the value of diamonds and destroy the wealth of many powerful people.

 

 

 

 

Figure 33 below - lights in the left terminator.

THE LIGHTS ON CERES ARE NOT NEW. Figure 35 below was taken from an Earthfiles News video put out on June 18, 2015. The film includes an interview with the Dawn Principle Investigator, Dr. Christopher T. Russell. Among several items of interest on the film is that although the Dawn Spacecraft was launched in September 27, 2007, the tremendous light coming from this area on Ceres was actually first seen by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2004. Dr. Russell indicates that when Dawn reaches the lowest orbit (230 miles) the camera resolution will only allow us to see an area of 40 meters by 40 meters per pixel. This is because NASA did not choose to fund a better camera. There is a reference to some of the lights forming an equilateral triangle, but the pictures taken are not convincing of this assertion. The film does not discuss why there are no pictures taken when the crater was in darkness and the Dawn spacecraft was over it on its orbit. 

Figure 34 below - lights on the right terminator. Figure 35 shows that the lights on Ceres have been present for at least a decade.

 

        JPL states that, "views from Dawn's current orbit, taken at an altitude of 915 miles (1,470 kilometers), have about three times better resolution than the images the spacecraft delivered from its previous orbit in June, and nearly 10 times better than in the spacecraft's first orbit at Ceres in April and May." They offer the video below to give us a better picture of the geology of the Occator crater. For details about the video see http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/spaceimages/details.php?id=pia19890

       Marc Rayman, Dawn's chief engineer and mission director based at JPL in Pasadena, states, "Dawn has transformed what was so recently a few bright dots into a complex and beautiful, gleaming landscape. Soon, the scientific analysis will reveal the geological and chemical nature of this mysterious and mesmerizing extraterrestrial scenery."

JPL UPDATE OF DECEMBER 8, 2015

Ceres reveals some of its well-kept secrets in two new studies in the journal Nature, thanks to data from NASA's Dawn spacecraft. They include highly anticipated insights about mysterious bright features found all over the dwarf planet's surface.

In one study, scientists identify this bright material as a kind of salt. The second study suggests the detection of ammonia-rich clays, raising questions about how Ceres formed.

About the Bright Spots

Ceres has more than 130 bright areas, and most of them are associated with impact craters. Study authors, led by Andreas Nathues at Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Göttingen, Germany, write that the bright material is consistent with a type of magnesium sulfate called hexahydrite. A different type of magnesium sulfate is familiar on Earth as Epsom salt.

Nathues and colleagues, using images from Dawn's framing camera, suggest that these salt-rich areas were left behind when water-ice sublimated in the past. Impacts from asteroids would have unearthed the mixture of ice and salt, they say.

"The global nature of Ceres' bright spots suggests that this world has a subsurface layer that contains briny water-ice," Nathues said.

A New Look at Occator

The surface of Ceres, whose average diameter is 584 miles (940 kilometers), is generally dark -- similar in brightness to fresh asphalt -- study authors wrote. The bright patches that pepper the surface represent a large range of brightness, with the brightest areas reflecting about 50 percent of sunlight shining on the area. But there has not been unambiguous detection of water ice on Ceres; higher-resolution data are needed to settle this question.

The inner portion of a crater called Occator contains the brightest material on Ceres. Occator itself is 60 miles (90 kilometers) in diameter, and its central pit, covered by this bright material, measures about 6 miles (10 kilometers) wide and 0.3 miles (0.5 kilometers) deep. Dark streaks, possibly fractures, traverse the pit. Remnants of a central peak, which was up to 0.3 miles (0.5 kilometers) high, can also be seen.

With its sharp rim and walls, and abundant terraces and landslide deposits, Occator appears to be among the youngest features on Ceres. Dawn mission scientists estimate its age to be about 78 million years old.

Study authors write that some views of Occator appear to show a diffuse haze near the surface that fills the floor of the crater. This may be associated with observations of water vapor at Ceres by the Herschel space observatory that were reported in 2014. The haze seems to be present in views during noon, local time, and absent at dawn and dusk, study authors write. This suggests that the phenomenon resembles the activity at the surface of a comet, with water vapor lifting tiny particles of dust and residual ice. Future data and analysis may test this hypothesis and reveal clues about the process causing this activity.

"The Dawn science team is still discussing these results and analyzing data to better understand what is happening at Occator," said Chris Russell, principal investigator of the Dawn mission, based at the University of California, Los Angeles.

 

 

The Importance of Ammonia

In the second Nature study, members of the Dawn science team examined the composition of Ceres and found evidence for ammonia-rich clays. They used data from the visible and infrared mapping spectrometer, a device that looks at how various wavelengths of light are reflected by the surface, allowing minerals to be identified.

Ammonia ice by itself would evaporate on Ceres today, because the dwarf planet is too warm. However, ammonia molecules could be stable if present in combination with (i.e. chemically bonded to) other minerals.

The presence of ammoniated compounds raises the possibility that Ceres did not originate in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, where it currently resides, but instead might have formed in the outer solar system. Another idea is that Ceres formed close to its present position, incorporating materials that drifted in from the outer solar system - near the orbit of Neptune, where nitrogen ices are thermally stable.

"The presence of ammonia-bearing species suggests that Ceres is composed of material accreted in an environment where ammonia and nitrogen were abundant. Consequently, we think that this material originated in the outer cold solar system," said Maria Cristina De Sanctis, lead author of the study, based at the National Institute of Astrophysics, Rome.

In comparing the spectrum of reflected light from Ceres to meteorites, scientists found some similarities. Specifically, they focused on the spectra, or chemical fingerprints, of carbonaceous chondrites, a type of carbon-rich meteorite thought to be relevant analogues for the dwarf planet. But these are not good matches for all wavelengths that the instrument sampled, the team found. In particular, there were distinctive absorption bands, matching mixtures containing ammoniated minerals, associated with wavelengths that can't be observed from Earth-based telescopes.

The scientists note another difference is that these carbonaceous chondrites have bulk water contents of 15 to 20 percent, while Ceres' content is as much as 30 percent.

"Ceres may have retained more volatiles than these meteorites, or it could have accreted the water from volatile-rich material," De Sanctis said.

The study also shows that daytime surface temperatures on Ceres span from minus 136 degrees to minus 28 degrees Fahrenheit (180 to 240 Kelvin). The maximum temperatures were measured in the equatorial region. The temperatures at and near the equator are generally too high to support ice at the surface for a long time, study authors say, but data from Dawn's next orbit will reveal more details.

As of this week, Dawn has reached its final orbital altitude at Ceres, about 240 miles (385 kilometers) from the surface of the dwarf planet. In mid-December, Dawn will begin taking observations from this orbit, including images at a resolution of 120 feet (35 meters) per pixel, infrared, gamma ray and neutron spectra, and high-resolution gravity data.

Dawn's mission is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for NASA. Dawn is a project of the directorate's Discovery Program, managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. UCLA is responsible for overall Dawn mission science. Orbital ATK Inc., in Dulles, Virginia, designed and built the spacecraft. The German Aerospace Center (who, with IP address 129.247.31.224 on December 8, 2015, the day of this JPL update, last visited in reference to Dr. Gilbert Levin's life detection experiments on Viking 1 and 2), Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Italian Space Agency and Italian National Astrophysical Institute are international partners on the mission team.

The presence of ammoniated compounds raises the possibility that Ceres did not originate in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, where it currently resides, but instead might have formed in the outer solar system. Another idea is that Ceres formed close to its present position, incorporating materials that drifted in from the outer solar system - near the orbit of Neptune, where nitrogen ices are thermally stable.

"The presence of ammonia-bearing species suggests that Ceres is composed of material accreted in an environment where ammonia and nitrogen were abundant. Consequently, we think that this material originated in the outer cold solar system," said Maria Cristina De Sanctis, lead author of the study, based at the National Institute of Astrophysics, Rome.

In comparing the spectrum of reflected light from Ceres to meteorites, scientists found some similarities. Specifically, they focused on the spectra, or chemical fingerprints, of carbonaceous chondrites, a type of carbon-rich meteorite thought to be relevant analogues for the dwarf planet. But these are not good matches for all wavelengths that the instrument sampled, the team found. In particular, there were distinctive absorption bands, matching mixtures containing ammoniated minerals, associated with wavelengths that can't be observed from Earth-based telescopes.

The scientists note another difference is that these carbonaceous chondrites have bulk water contents of 15 to 20 percent, while Ceres' content is as much as 30 percent.

"Ceres may have retained more volatiles than these meteorites, or it could have accreted the water from volatile-rich material," De Sanctis said.

The study also shows that daytime surface temperatures on Ceres span from minus 136 degrees to minus 28 degrees Fahrenheit (180 to 240 Kelvin). The maximum temperatures were measured in the equatorial region. The temperatures at and near the equator are generally too high to support ice at the surface for a long time, study authors say, but data from Dawn's next orbit will reveal more details.

As of this week, Dawn has reached its final orbital altitude at Ceres, about 240 miles (385 kilometers) from the surface of the dwarf planet. In mid-December, Dawn will begin taking observations from this orbit, including images at a resolution of 120 feet (35 meters) per pixel, infrared, gamma ray and neutron spectra, and high-resolution gravity data.

Dawn's mission is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for NASA. Dawn is a project of the directorate's Discovery Program, managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. UCLA is responsible for overall Dawn mission science. Orbital ATK Inc., in Dulles, Virginia, designed and built the spacecraft. The German Aerospace Center, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Italian Space Agency and Italian National Astrophysical Institute are international partners on the mission team.

 
This representation of Ceres' Occator Crater in false colors shows differences in the surface composition. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA
› Full image and caption

Ceres reveals some of its well-kept secrets in two new studies in the journal Nature, thanks to data from NASA's Dawn spacecraft. They include highly anticipated insights about mysterious bright features found all over the dwarf planet's surface.

In one study, scientists identify this bright material as a kind of salt. The second study suggests the detection of ammonia-rich clays, raising questions about how Ceres formed.


COMMENT BY THE ROFFMAN TEAM ON DEVEMBER 30, 2015: JPL is still asking the public for our opinion about what the bright spot is.  Of note is that as of this date they have not commented about what the crater looks like when it is in darkness. Is any light still showing then?

Guess what the bright spots are

For a complete list of mission participants, visit:

http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov/mission

More information about Dawn is available at the following sites:

http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov

http://www.nasa.gov/dawn


Media Contact

Elizabeth Landau
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
818-354-6425
Elizabeth.Landau@jpl.nasa.gov

2015-365