The angle of inclination of the axis of rotation of Ceres is extremely rapidly changing.
American scientists have shown that the angle of inclination of the axis of rotation of Ceres is extremely rapidly changing. This is due to the influence of Jupiter and Saturn leads to the appearance on the surface of the dwarf planet’s mysterious bright spots. A study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
Over the past three million years, the angle of inclination of the axis of rotation ranged from 2 degrees to 20 degrees. Approximately 14 thousand years ago, the angle was equal to 19 degrees, currently it is around 4 degrees. Such changes are due to the gravitational influence on the dwarf planet of Jupiter and Saturn.
Scientists were able to find a link between the reserves of water ice on the dwarf planet’s surface and fluctuations in the angle of the axis of rotation. The presence of water in certain areas requires that they be in the shadows for millions of years.
The smaller the angle of inclination of the axis of rotation of Ceres, the more its surface is in shadow and Vice versa. Scientists were able to determine those areas of the dwarf planet, which even at high angles of inclination to the axis of rotation are in the shade. Was that where the earlier station Dawn noticed the so-called mysterious spots are craters.
With the help of nature one of them has managed to identify. A bright spot formed by the ice remaining on the surface of the dwarf planet. Now scientists believe that most of the dark parts of Ceres contain water ice.
The inclination of the rotation axis represents the deviation of the axis of rotation of a celestial body from the perpendicular to the plane of its orbit. For the Earth this parameter is equal to about 23 degrees. It involves the presence of the planet seasons.
Station Dawn launched on 27 September 2007 using the launch vehicle Delta 2 from the spaceport at Cape Canaveral in the US and in orbit around Ceres turned out to be March 6, 2015. The cost of the project to study the asteroid Vesta and the dwarf planet Ceres is more than $ 500 million.
Ceres discovered in 1801 by Italian Giuseppe Piazzi and named after the Roman goddess of fertility. The outer diameter of the object is about 940 kilometers, making it the largest celestial body in the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
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