NASA news: Bright spots discovered on dwarf planet Ceres

A team of researchers focused on the 20-million-year-old Occator crater on Ceres for their study.

Using infrared imaging from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, the team were able to determine the presence of the compound hydrohalite—a material common in sea ice but which until now had never been observed off of Earth.

The briny nature of hydrohalite acts as a sort of anti-freeze, meaning the ocean could still be in liquid form.

According to NASA, the bulk of the ocean is mostly made up of sodium carbonate – a compound of sodium, carbon, and oxygen, according to the research published in the journals Nature Astronomy, Nature Geoscience, and Nature Communications.

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