Mysterious Okkator crater on Ceres studying NASA - VIDEO PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 10 September 2015 15:25
The walls of the mysterious crater Okkator where the mysterious white spots, towering over its surface two kilometers and have very steep slopes, it is much more difficult to climb than the most dangerous parts of the Alps. "The walls of the crater in some of their parts are almost completely sheer or straight, although in the neighboring regions, there are places where matter slopes rolled and formed comfortable for climbing a hill. It is possible that this is due to the fact that the slopes are a mosaic of different types of minerals and rocks, "- said planetary scientist Ralph Jaumann (Ralf Jaumann), analyzed the images with Dawn. After another reduction of the orbit, which occurred in early August this year, at the Dawn probe the opportunity to get new pictures of the crater Okkator, where the mysterious white spots, the nature of which remains a mystery to astronomers. Tripling the resolution of new images allowed experts from NASA and DLR German colleagues not only detail the spot, but also to study the structure of the slopes of the crater. Scientists believe the new pictures finally give them more food for the mind and see whether the spots are deposits of water ice, some salt, or something else entirely. The American probe Dawn, launched by NASA in late September 2007, became the first spacecraft, which studied the one heavenly body - Vesta, one of the largest asteroids, descended from its orbit after a year and went to another - Ceres, the closest to the Earth dwarf planet . Dawn has successfully reached its goal of 6 March of this year, 16 hours 36 minutes Moscow and began to study the surface and depths of Ceres, which will continue for about 16 months. He was the first "see" dwarf planet is so close. Learning both the largest protoplanets, scientists believe, will help them determine how the planets were formed in the "youngest" of the solar system. During the early part of the third of the planned reduction of the orbit, June 30, the probe Dawn has experienced a failure and went into safe mode, where he stayed for almost three weeks. During this time, NASA engineers found that the problem was the improper operation of the system, which controls the position of one of the three ion engines of the probe, and decided it by going to another engine. Now Dawn is busy mapping the surface of Ceres and its three-dimensional drawing "impression." Since the transition to a new orbit of the probe has already done two complete cycles mapping of six planned by NASA, which will be completed, if nothing happens in two months.