Monday, March 28, 2016

Space Related Monday Mystery Solved...?

We know so little about space, it's almost embarrassing. No matter how much we know or learn, it isn't enough.

Sometimes an answer is figured out to one of our many questions, but we can't prove or disprove it beyond a reasonable doubt.

The Ceres Mystery Lights

Photo credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

As NASA’s Dawn spacecraft approached the dwarf planet Ceres, it captured some very mysterious images. One of these, taken 47,000 kilometers (29,000 mi) away from the planet, showed abnormally bright spots inside an 80-kilometer-wide (50 mi) crater. Many immediately took these images and ran with them, thinking that they were signs of an alien civilization.

For a few months, even NASA wasn’t exactly sure what these mysterious bright spots were. Theories ranged from aliens to ice, but in late 2015, a study was published in Nature that debunked all those theories. It claimed that the spots were nothing more than salt. The study stated, “These unusual areas are consistent with hydrated magnesium sulfates mixed with dark background material, although other compositions are possible.” Unfortunately, this explanation is not as exciting as aliens, but there are plenty of other space mysteries to keep us baffled for a long time.

I'm a little disappointed that it had to be a simple explanation. I wanted something a bit more exotic, I reckon. Oh well, it is what it is...!

Coffee out on the patio this morning!


Chickenmom said...

It's just like some see 'temples' on Mars, buy turn out to be pieces of rock. The patio is fine, it's going to be windy here!

linda m said...

Shucks, I was hoping for aliens. Patio is fine with me as I am tired of cold and rain. I'll bring some leftover Easter candy.

JO said...

It's a good thing they haven't found it to be a place to land because you know they would start mining the place and turn it into huge holes like the have done all over the world.

Patio time always sounds good

Dizzy-Dick said...

Yes, I knew about the bright spots. You know, it must have been an awfully big salt shaker to have spilled that much salt. Now, not only can we say "the salt of the Earth", we can add to that "and of Ceres." Right?

HermitJim said...

Hey Phyllis...
What? No temples on Mars...? Yeah, I reckon you're right.
Thanks for stopping by today!

Hey Linda...
I wouldn't gripe if it had turned out to be aliens. More exciting, that's for sure!
Thanks for coming over this morning!

Hey Jo...
You got that right! Seems we want to dig and mine nearly everywhere!
Thanks for dropping in this morning, sweetie.

Hey Dizzy...
You can probably see them with your telescope, right? Well, maybe not quite!
Thanks for stopping by today!

Dizzy-Dick said...

No Jim, I haven't seen them through my telescope. For one, I haven't had my scope out for quite awhile and two, wouldn't be able to see it anyway. I remember a few years back, Mars was close to Earth and at an apparent large size. I spent a lot of time at my scope's eyepiece when that was going on. Sure was an impressive sight.