NASA’s Dawn spacecraft keeps revealing new mysteries as it approaches the dwarf planet Ceres, the latest discovery posted in a video on Thursday shows a pyramid shaped formation with bright bands down the side. The pyramid measures more than 20,000 Foot (6100 meters) and is sure to spawn a lot of new fringe theories, and fuel the old ones.
Paul Schenk of the NASA Science team said that “This mountain is among the tallest features we’ve seen on Ceres to date,” The team is yet to come up with an explanation as to why the pyramid is sitting in the middle of nowhere instead of being located in a crater as expected.
Earlier Ceres also made a puzzling discovery in the now famous Occator crater which sports some of Ceres’ brightest spots, another phenomenon yet to be explained by NASA.
There is currently no evidence pointing to the spots being ice and the science team is now investigating whether it could be salt deposits.
There are other fascinating discoveries that need to be studied further says David O’Brien, with the Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, Arizona. Amongst these are a pair of large impact basins, Urvara and Yalode which have large cracks extending away from them.
Ceres, refereed to as a “Dwarf planet”, is currently the largest known object in the asteroid belt with a diameter of approximately 587 miles (945 kilometres) making it the thirty-third largest know object in the solar system.
Ceres was the first asteroid ever to be discovered, the discovery was made by the famous astronomer Giuseppe Piazzi on 1. January 1801.
Originally Ceres was classified as a planet but was later demoted to asteroid status as many other similar bodies were found.
Dawn will continue its observations of Ceres around mid-August entering an orbit with an altitude of 900 miles (1500 kilometres) which is three times closer than it’s current orbit.