Layman help sought in solving dwarf planet mysteries

September 30, 2015
A NASA image of dwarf planet Ceres, which circles the sun between Mars and Jupiter

Throwing open the doors to the hallowed halls of science, stumped researchers welcomed help from the public Wednesday in solving a number of nagging mysteries about dwarf planet Ceres.

NASA's space probe Dawn, which travelled seven-and-a-half years and some 4.9 billion kilometres to reach Ceres in March this year, is the first to orbit a dwarf planet.

The probe is seeking to learn more about the structure of Ceres, which circles the Sun between Mars and Jupiter, in a bid to better understand the formation of Earth and other planets.

But many of the features of Ceres have left researchers scratching their heads—including a six-kilometre (four-mile) high protrusion they have dubbed "Lonely Mountain".

"We're having difficulty understanding what made that mountain and we have been getting many suggestions from the public," Dawn's principal investigator Christopher Russell told reporters at a space conference in Nantes, western France.

One fan of the probe sent Russell an email saying the mountain reminded him of some ice structures he had seen in the woods years earlier while living in the US state of Arkansas.

"These ice structures started just poking out (of the ground). Each one of them had a rock or something like that protecting the surface, keeping it cool," Russell said in describing the ice.

"Maybe our lonely mountain was some sort of ice construct," the scientist said, adding: "We're taking suggestions like this very seriously."

Scientists hope to learn more about dwarf planet Ceres when space probe Dawn moves in closer, starting in October and into Decem
Scientists hope to learn more about dwarf planet Ceres when space probe Dawn moves in closer, starting in October and into December

Russell said "many suggestions" have poured in from the public but did not provide an exact number.

First classified a planet, then an asteroid, then a "dwarf planet" with some traits of a moon—the more scientists learn about Ceres, the weirder it becomes.

"We have absolutely no idea what that... is due to," Russell said as he pointed to a blue ring on a map of the planet.

Later, of another unexplained attribute: "Again, I apologise, we haven't solved the source of this white material. We think that it's salt."

Scientists hope to learn more when Dawn moves in closer—starting in October and into December—as the spacecraft will descend to its lowest and final orbit at an altitude 375 kilometres.

The probe will continue capturing images of Ceres and collecting higher-resolution data.

It is due to stay in operation to mid-2016.

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shavera
3.9 / 5 (22) Sep 30, 2015
Layman help sought? Well they've come to the right place! Phys.org. Where the uninformed/uneducated (insofar as physics is concerned) gather regularly to tell scientists how the universe REALLY is. Maybe they're plasma bilayer projections of the dense Aether portal to the timecube.
Paracelsus
3.9 / 5 (7) Sep 30, 2015
The reflective spots are the remains of a 50 million year old prospecting base and landing site. The Lonely Mountain is the sheathing for the mass driver constructed to launch material for generation ship repairs or reaction-mass refueling.

There, how's that for a layman answer? B')
bschott
1.5 / 5 (8) Sep 30, 2015
Layman help sought? Well they've come to the right place! Phys.org. Where the uninformed/uneducated (insofar as physics is concerned) gather regularly to tell scientists how the universe REALLY is. Maybe they're plasma bilayer projections of the dense Aether portal to the timecube.


Interesting thing to post under an article where the people who publish science that you do support have absolutely no clue what make of what they are looking at....again. Maybe after Ceres the laymen can explain what exactly the Higgs does, to the other laymen. That blue guy red guy thing was way too complicated and far too concise from a scientific standpoint to be understood by most.

Maybe they are the invisible matter, rapid expansion dark energy formed from merging points of infinite density....gravitationally lensed.

With fries.
JustAnotherGuy
3.5 / 5 (8) Sep 30, 2015
Wow, opinions from layman can become useful.
What about pseudoscience, anti-science, denialism, and religious fanaticism?
For what is this useful? I mean, besides doing trolling...
bschott
2.5 / 5 (11) Sep 30, 2015
Wow, opinions from layman can become useful.


Don't get excited, they didn't mean you.

What about pseudoscience


Dark matter

anti-science


Rapid expansion that occurred outside the bounds of physics

denialism


Adherence to centuries old theories and dogma

and religious fanaticism?


The Big Bang theory, gravity waves, Black Holes

For what is this useful? I mean, besides doing trolling...


Hey, you brought it all up...tell us why you're here.
JustAnotherGuy
3.9 / 5 (7) Sep 30, 2015
Uh-oh! someone got upset!
Why do you care if not your concern?
Is there something you're trying to justify?

...tell us why you're here.

Obvious, reading articles... in spite of troll's spam at the comment section.
Tuxford
1 / 5 (7) Sep 30, 2015
And no new high resolution photo released, as I have been predicting. Three weeks since the last doctored photo released, and we were not allowed to see the relative brightness between the illuminated white areas and the un-illuminated ground. Compare:

http://phys.org/n...azy.html

http://phys.org/n...ght.html

And now they are trying to divert attention from the crater with illumination, to the mountain. And phyorg does not even point to the relevant Ceres stories after June.

As I said before, the mountain might be the remains of an ancient mining operation from the adjacent crater, dug out, flipped and moved intact.

http://phys.org/n...ain.html

Occam's razor blade is just too painful in this case? NASA admits no clue. So....?

bschott
2.1 / 5 (7) Sep 30, 2015
Uh-oh! someone got upset!


No...no...just pointing out that the people who throw around these labels tend to miss how much of their own belief system qualifies.

Why do you care if not your concern?


I actually don't "care", but I am happy to engage people who believe in nonsense yet claim that it isn't, then point the finger at others for believing in nonsense

Is there something you're trying to justify


My internet bill

...tell us why you're here.
Obvious, reading articles... in spite of troll's spam at the comment section.


A weird place to find common ground...I'll stick to my side of the island though.
Snowrose
3.7 / 5 (3) Sep 30, 2015
I thought the people at NASA would have already had the capability to use spectroscopy to analyse the surface of the planets. Don't different minerals emit different electromagnetic waves? Or is that something for the future?
JustAnotherGuy
4.2 / 5 (5) Sep 30, 2015
just pointing out that the people who throw around these labels tend to miss how much of their own belief system qualifies.

Maybe that people just wonder why unrelated topics/discussions arise in a site like this, rather than keep it at their sites.
...people who believe in nonsense yet claim that it isn't, then point the finger at others for believing in nonsense

Believing in nonsense...
It's about considering the explanations to be plausible or not. There are things to learn and think about in order to do that, that's not believing.
"Nonsense" is just inapplicable. Every claim have a sense, that is, viewed in its own context. The problem is people making claims derived from its explanations in an unrelated site.
A weird place to find common ground...I'll stick to my side of the island though.

A good site to keep track on science topics. "Standard", of course. I go to the "alternative" sites when I want to know about them.
Is it not the way to do it?
Moebius
5 / 5 (2) Sep 30, 2015
Maybe it's a dirty ball of ice. Maybe captured from the Oort cloud. Some theories think there are planetoids out there and we know stuff gets nudged in.
setnom
4.4 / 5 (7) Oct 01, 2015
NASA admits no clue. So....?


Do you prefer NASA to make conclusions without proper research?

Do you know how long we've suspected RSL on Mars? Since observations from Mars Global Surveyor back in 2006!! And only now do we have good indirect evidence for hydrated salts.

Dawn only arrived at Ceres in early March. My point is, give them time to study this in more detail.
bschott
2.6 / 5 (5) Oct 01, 2015
Maybe that people just wonder why unrelated topics/discussions arise in a site like this, rather than keep it at their sites.


Maybe....

Believing in nonsense...
It's about considering the explanations to be plausible or not.


It certainly is!

There are things to learn and think about in order to do that, that's not believing.


Very true, so when you say:

What about pseudoscience, anti-science, denialism, and religious fanaticism?


You are labelling anything that doesn't conform to your own worldview, there is nothing wrong with this unless you try to claim that you aren't doing it of course.

A good site to keep track on science topics. "Standard", of course. I go to the "alternative" sites when I want to know about them.
Is it not the way to do it?


If that is your choice, sure. Personal opinions rarely align and experience shows there's a lot more than "one way" for pretty much everything.
JustAnotherGuy
4 / 5 (4) Oct 01, 2015
so when you say:
What about pseudoscience, anti-science, denialism, and religious fanaticism?
You are labelling anything that doesn't conform to your own worldview...

What doesn't "conform to 'my' own worldview" are the unrelated comments that comes from these people to this specific site. For what are these useful? What is expected (besides trolling)? Have the answer?
That is what my comment was about, easier if you don't split it word by word.
.. there is nothing wrong with this unless you try to claim that you aren't doing it of course.

Looks like you attempt some "psychological" approach to it. Drop it out, you missed my point.
No problem with people's "own worldview", but there is no reason to "spread their truths" here. Although, the way they express these messages, is far worst than the content itself. They really seem to call for rejection and down votes; aka: trolls.
Have you a better way to interpret this?
........
Ultron
2 / 5 (2) Oct 01, 2015
It is obvious, that it is an ET landing base, around 5 millions years old :)

Here is a picture, which proves that:
http://www.openmi...ry/33272
JustAnotherGuy
5 / 5 (4) Oct 01, 2015
...........
If that is your choice, sure. Personal opinions rarely align and experience shows there's a lot more than "one way" for pretty much everything.

Not a choice of mine. Matters are properly treated in their respective portals. Hence, you go there, and you learn what you want.
Right, there is not just "one way", plenty of options to looks for. But, there is no need to mix things up. Agreed?
antialias_physorg
4.6 / 5 (11) Oct 01, 2015
NASA admits no clue. So....?

That's the difference between scientists and cranks. A scientist will actually admit when they don't know. A crank will just make something up (or shoehorn it into some pet theory without a smidgeon of supporting evidence)

Cranks fall for pareidolia (read: bias). Scientist actively try not to.
bschott
1.8 / 5 (5) Oct 01, 2015
What doesn't "conform to 'my' own worldview" are the unrelated comments that comes from these people to this specific site. For what are these useful? What is expected (besides trolling)? Have the answer?
That is what my comment was about, easier if you don't split it word by word.


Well, it's a public site...kinda like a city bus. If you paid for a ride, the other bus patrons aren't allowed to kick you out, regardless of what they don't like about you. Add to that people who blindly follow the lead of the majority just because of a need to be accepted by the masses. These people are usually the vocal supporters of the accepted view who cannot debate from a knowledge or experience standpoint and thus rely on an appeal to authority as a debate tactic. People like this fail to realize that both parties in the debate need to recognize the authority, if one party doesn't...it's like saying "this is true cause my dad said so".
baudrunner
2.3 / 5 (3) Oct 02, 2015
The mysterious white spots are what they left behind after filming the fake moon landings there. The pyramidal mountain is a glass terrarium where the fabricants who leased that space to NASA live.
JustAnotherGuy
3.7 / 5 (3) Oct 02, 2015
The mysterious white spots are what they left behind after filming the fake moon landings there. The pyramidal mountain is a glass terrarium where the fabricants who leased that space to NASA live.

Hehe.. good surreal humour!
https://en.wikipe...l_humour
Returners
1 / 5 (4) Oct 02, 2015
It might help if they published their raw data, rather than just anecdotal descriptions of the phenomena.

The lonely mountain could be formed by some sort of cryovolcanism. Why is it alone? Who knows. Why is Hawaii mostly alone in the middle of the Pacfic? Because there's an isolated Hot Spot/Super Plume there. It could be the same, in Cryovolcanism terms, on Ceres.

There, that's reasonable enough. Not saying it's exactly right, but nobody is going to know anyway without some sort of direct probe mission; Not happening any time soon btw, NASA is strapped for cash.

Blue structure could be Copper or Cobalt, perhaps from a meteor or perhaps from more cryovolcanism digging up some deep material from the mantle. I'm sure that's obvious, but I don't know what the hell else to make of it given virtually no description in the article.

Reflective surface could be alumina, much like the surface of our own moon.
Returners
1 / 5 (3) Oct 02, 2015
It's strange that the south side of Ceres appears to be more heavily cratered than the North side, and there's no obvious reason that should be the case, unless it somehow passed through a somewhat asymmetric meteor shower....or half the planet has been re-surfaced and the other half hasn't...either way that seems very odd for such a small world with no atmosphere.

Is it random chance? Or is it some sort of bias in how Ceres interacts with the other Asteroid Belt objects?
Returners
1 / 5 (3) Oct 02, 2015
Blue ring thing...

We know impacts can create nano-diamonds on terrestrial planets, but what about icy surfaces? I know NASA has some high speed guns used to test properties of collisions of different materials, so what happens when an iron asteroid hits a ball of ice? Or what happens when a chondrite hits a ball of ice? What sort of nano-crystals are made, if any, and what are their optical properties?

We also know from more recent discovery of nano structures, that optical properties of some elements do not remain the same as the scale of structures decreases, such as the infamous color change of Gold, an inert element, even though color is normally associated with a "chemical change", when no chemical change occurred. Therefore the nano-crystal hypothesis has some merit, and the blue structure may have some interesting and unique properties hitherto unknown to science, if it is not just some corroded copper or cobalt.
Returners
1 / 5 (3) Oct 02, 2015
Okay, so I've offered some starting points for the Blue Ring problem, but I don't have access to a high speed gas gun or rail gun to test it myself. That would be up to NASA. Basically you need to test water-ice, CO2 ice and other ice targets, and test each target with bullets of varying compositions modeling solar system objects, and see if any of them have ejecta with properties similar to the blue ring...shouldn't be too hard to rule in or out the correct material combination.
Vietvet
5 / 5 (4) Oct 02, 2015
The mysterious white spots are what they left behind after filming the fake moon landings there. The pyramidal mountain is a glass terrarium where the fabricants who leased that space to NASA live.

Hehe.. good surreal humour!
https://en.wikipe...l_humour


That wasn't humor, baudrunner was serious based on his previous posts.
docile
Oct 02, 2015
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
JustAnotherGuy
5 / 5 (2) Oct 02, 2015
The mysterious white spots are what they left behind after filming the fake moon landings there. The pyramidal mountain is a glass terrarium where the fabricants who leased that space to NASA live.

Hehe.. good surreal humour!
https://en.wikipe...l_humour


That wasn't humor, baudrunner was serious based on his previous posts.

I wasn't sure about that but, hey it works anyway! Quite surrealistic humour!
Tuxford
1 / 5 (4) Oct 03, 2015
Help laymen. This image released Friday seems heavily photo-chopped in the interesting crater/mountain on the right side. Can anyone offer an explanation of what this is?

http://photojourn...9907.tif

With so many images of bright areas seemingly just under the surface, clearly there is come very interesting material in this body. But what material glows? And is it worth mining?

http://photojourn...9905.tif

http://photojourn...9904.tif

http://photojourn...9903.tif

http://photojourn...9902.tif

Notice the triangular object to the left of center: A triangular hole? Missing bits, in a triangle??

http://photojourn...9889.tif
JustAnotherGuy
4.2 / 5 (5) Oct 03, 2015
...seems heavily photo-chopped in the interesting crater/mountain on the right side. Can anyone offer an explanation of what this is?

I can offer a description: a weird pit next to a crater. Not a mountain. Not photoshop.

Interesting, indeed. Maybe the impact "helped" to some hidden material to get "released". Some impacts have altered the landscape in peculiar ways.
Look, this one have created some sort of "avalanche" (down-right) : http://www.jpl.na...ires.jpg

Well, that's laymen's help. Better ask professionals for details.
JustAnotherGuy
5 / 5 (4) Oct 03, 2015
Notice the triangular object to the left of center: A triangular hole? Missing bits, in a triangle??

Ah, you mean "the artifacts" ... up to four of them... in a specific pattern... yes, annoying... no big mistery...

Don't mind about it. They appear in the images, whatever the angle and whatever the distance. Not part of Ceres, but part of Dawn. Can you "spot" them?
http://www.jpl.na...ires.jpg
http://www.jpl.na...ires.jpg
http://www.jpl.na...ires.jpg

Tip: link to ".jpg" please. Same quality, works better.
viko_mx
1 / 5 (7) Oct 03, 2015
What is the Oort cloud? The cloud that was never seen with the naked or armed eye but scientific community adopted its existence as a fact without having any scientific basis for this only for the support of big bang mythology. The same applies to other never seen theoretical objects such as black holes, neutron stars, white dwarfs, extra dimensions, dark matter, etc .. This is mass culture today. Biased but with confidence that only an ignorant fool can have.

Tuxford
1 / 5 (3) Oct 03, 2015
Look, this one have created some sort of "avalanche" (down-right) : http://www.jpl.na...ires.jpg

Appears kind of bull-dozed. Wonder if Caterpillar left some equipment behind?

Not part of Ceres, but part of Dawn. Can you "spot" them?


Indeed. Nice catch. But what material glows in narrow bandwidth's as alluded to in earlier press releases? Anyone find any released information regarding this narrow band spectrum??

Rather than explain the unexplainable, NASA seems to be taking a strategy to plead ignorance and solicit public help without releasing the raw data. As I predicted earlier, we will never get the whole story here. Just as in the Apollo moon landings, whose original photo negatives were 'lost' – in the archives of the DoD no doubt – so will be the raw data for Ceres.
JustAnotherGuy
4.3 / 5 (6) Oct 03, 2015
Appears kind of bull-dozed. Wonder if Caterpillar left some equipment behind?

Haha...good one! Surreal humour rules..
Rather than explain the unexplainable, NASA seems to be taking a strategy to plead ignorance and solicit public help without releasing the raw data.

I suppose you refer to Dawn Team, its dedicated site hasn't the abundance of data and details about the mission as the New Horizons's site has. Both from NASA.
Also, they seem to seek for public's participation until the current orbit, and the last one, are fulfilled. A strategy to keep attention.
As I predicted earlier, we will never get the whole story here. Just as in the Apollo moon landings, whose original photo negatives were 'lost' – in the archives of the DoD no doubt – so will be the raw data for Ceres.

Sorry, conspiracy thrillers are not among my favorite genres. I pass.
Tuxford
1.7 / 5 (6) Oct 03, 2015
Sorry, conspiracy thrillers are not among my favorite genres. I pass.


Well, if I hadn't witnessed the NASA coverup of the Apollo 17 data myself, I might pass too. But I was there in Houston watching the uninterrupted live feed during the entire 2nd EVA. And when I left that rainy evening I was jumping with excitement.

Alas, we still don't have the photos (lost). And no doubt the astronauts are constrained with secrecy oaths regarding the moon, so some focus on anomalies on other bodies instead, like the tower on Phobos. And Armstrong just kept to himself, for example, perhaps to avoid running afoul of the oath. So unfortunately, NASA's job is just PR for public and filtered data for the science types.
Mastoras
5 / 5 (2) Oct 06, 2015
Ehmm....Mr JustAnotherGuy... By continuing to answer to un-scientific posts, you keep polluting the comments with unnecessary material. Plus, you are feeding the trolls. Please set them to ignore.
Tuxford
1 / 5 (2) Oct 23, 2015
Here is an example of the very straight walls of a younger crater. Only the walls are at a consistent angle all around. Consistency argues against natural processes. Otherwise, I might think these were just sink holes, formed much like a receding volcano caldron?

http://photojourn...9985.jpg

http://photojourn...9984.jpg

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