OK, 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 1,450km 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 colour filter that NASA slapped over the whole thing.
Because, essentially, the colour 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 colours 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.