Tagged With cryovolcanoes

Ceres's bright spots have been an enticing mystery ever since NASA's Dawn spacecraft began approaching the dwarf planet in the autumn of 2015. Now, research from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) suggests the brightest of those shiny splotches -- located within the enormous Occator crater in the northern hemisphere -- is even more interesting than we thought. This region was probably a hotspot for cryovolcanic activity in the not-too-distant past.

On a lonely, cratered plain near the equator of dwarf planet Ceres, a mountain half the height of Everest spirals into an airless abyss. A few hundred million years ago, briny ice lavas from deep beneath the surface pushed Ahuna Mons up, freezing again as they oozed across the mountain's rugged peak.