NASA Image Captures Unusual Mountain on Dwarf Planet Ceres

first_img Ceres has some strange topography: NASA recently revealed a new image of the dwarf planet and it shows Ahuna Mons, a bizarre mountain that looks like a giant glacier.The image, which NASA says “is like nothing that humanity has ever seen before,” highlights the beautiful features of Ceres, which is also known as the largest asteroid in our solar system, Fox News reported. Ahuna Mons, which is the largest mountain on Ceres and rises more than 13,000 feet, has slopes that contain young vertical streaks instead of old craters, said a NASA press release.No one knows how Ahuna Mons developed on the dwarf planet, however, a group of scientists have a new theory that aims to tackle the summits’ origins. According to a study published in the journal Nature Geoscience, many gravitational measurements and investigations of Ceres’ geometrical form suggest that a bubble made of a mixture of mud, rock, and salt water, rose from the dwarf planet’s depths.This bubble might have pushed the ice-rich crust upwards, and at a weak point in the muddy substance, which was made out of salts and hydrogenated silicates, was pushed to the surface, solidified, and stacked up to form a mountain, said a DLR Institute of Planetary Research press release. The scientists believe that Ahuna Mons is a giant mud volcano, instead of another type of structure on Ceres.A model of Ceres’ shell-shaped structure. (Photo Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / UCLA / MPS / DLR / IDA)“In this region, the interior of Ceres is not solid and rigid, but moving and at least partially fluid,” said Wladimir Neumann of the DLR Institute of Planetary Research. “This ‘bubble’ that formed in the mantle of Ceres beneath Ahuna Mons is a mixture of saline water and rock components.”The Ceres image was created from surface maps taken of Ceres by the robotic Dawn mission in 2016. After completing its mission last year, Dawn still circles the dwarf planet even though it ran out of fuel.More on Geek.com:NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Gets Cozy With Asteroid Bennu in Close-Up ImageNASA’s MRO Discovers ‘Black-And-Blue’ Impact Crater on Mars NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft Discovers New Sculpting in Saturn’s Rings NASA Says 2 Asteroids Will Safely Fly By Earth This WeekendScientists Discover Possible Interstellar Visitor Stay on targetlast_img

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