These NASA Fly-Over Images Just Revealed Something Odd on the Surface of Ceres

Okay, we’re just going to say it: From its mysterious glowing patches to its two-faced mountain, dwarf-planet Ceres is plain weird. And with the latest fly-over look at its surface from NASA, things are getting even stranger.

NASA put together this animated version of a fly-over of Ceres using their new low-altitude images from the planet, just 900 miles overhead. So, what are we seeing here that we weren’t before?

There is an unusually good look at those bright spots and how they are laid out across the geography—plus, all the different types of craters that house them. The most interesting thing may be the false color filter that NASA slapped over the whole thing.



Because, essentially, the color filter also acts as an age-map. The bluer patches are younger areas of the surface while those grey-brown areas are older, and as you can see in the video, those colors are pretty swirled together across the surface. In other words, this isn’t a dead dwarf planet, it’s one that was very recently—or is perhaps even still—active.

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I am always struck by how many craters all these celestial orbs have. Which means Earth is exposed to the same dangers, except that most get disentegrated in our atmosphere. The big ones will get through however, and it’s only a matter of time. What are we really doing about this?