New NASA Dawn Mission Images Illuminate Ceres’ Mysterious Bright Spots & Bonus Pictures of Pluto

Nasa v Ceres: Dawn of Science.

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While no one is yet sure what the bright spots on Ceres—a dwarf planet and the largest object in our solar system’s asteroid belt—are, NASA has released some close-up images of the curiously reflective patches. Hey, maybe we should leave Ceres alone, NASA. I wouldn’t want someone sending a probe to take high res pictures of my bald spot.

In addition to the pictures from the Dawn probe currently orbiting Ceres, they’ve also released a video that shows the depth of the crater that the bright patches sit in:

There’s an entire planet made of iron that also floats around the asteroid belt, so maybe a large hunk of metal once hit Ceres and became buried just under the surface with a small, shiny portion still showing? Or aliens. Could be aliens.

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The truth is out there (but it’s probably not aliens).

In addition, we’ve also gotten some new, high res shots of Pluto from the New Horizons mission (and make sure you didn’t miss the jaw-dropping video version of the Pluto flyby):

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For a few additional shots and the full, high res versions, you can head over to NASA’s New Horizons image repository.

(via HuffPo, images via NASA/JPL-CALTECH/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA)

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Dan Van Winkle
Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct Geekosystem (RIP), and then at The Mary Sue starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at Smash Bros.