Ceres Geology Notes and References

Steven Dutch, Professor Emeritus, Natural and Applied Sciences, Universityof Wisconsin - Green Bay

The visit of the Dawn mission to Ceres was revolutionary in two ways. First, it was the first mission to use ion propulsion, and secondly, it was the first mision to orbit two separate bodies, having already completed a mapping mission at Vesta.

Geology of Ceres

Alas, not to detract in any way from the engineering brilliance of Dawn, Ceres is about the most spectacularly dull body ever visited by spacecraft. Apart from a few brignt spots in craters believed to be highly reflective salt, and one enigmatic peak thought to be cryovolcanic, Ceres has no distinctive age terrains, and no distinctive stratigraphy. Maybe Saturn's moon Mimas might rival it, excapt Mimas has that nifty large crater that makes it look like the Death Star.


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Created 30 May 2018, Last Update 24 May 2020