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Strange lights on dwarf planet Ceres have scientists perplexed

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posted on Mar, 9 2015 @ 12:14 AM
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a reply to: JadeStar

So you've visited and know no one is shining lights. But you are not sure what it actually is. Kind of an oxymoraon isn't that? You have a theory. It might not be accurate. Can't people just say they don't know what the heck it is...since you really don't?




posted on Mar, 9 2015 @ 12:16 AM
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a reply to: JadeStar

How about we base it on the fact that you don't know what it is? It could be any number of things. It could also be aliens. I hope I am not the first one to tell you, they exist.



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 04:29 PM
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It seems that while some scientists are saying the bright spots could be ice, some are saying it could be mineral salts that have a white color. Depending on the albedo (which they can't determine until the get a true size of the bright spots), it seems it could be ice (which can have an extremely high albedo) or salts, which are still reflective, but not as much as ice in general.

Here is Dawn mission scientist Chris Russell's take on it:

In this case, the feature is very reflective. There isn't something there signaling us actively. It's signaling us passively; it's reflecting the sunlight. It's consistent with reflecting all of the light if the spot is small enough. Now, we don't know what size it is, so we can't tell if the albedo is 40 percent, 60 percent, 80 percent or 100 percent, but it's probably in that range someplace. One thing that's very good in the solar system at reflecting sunlight is ice. For example, [Saturn's moon] Enceladus has an albedo of about 100 percent.

But there are people who are holding out for salt — not necessarily table salt, but salts of various minerals that may be white in appearance. So we have sort of a dichotomy of opinion in the team as to whether this has a dry or wet explanation. But we'll get to the bottom of this when we can resolve the bottom of the feature.

Source:
Studying Dwarf Planet Ceres: Q&A with Dawn Scientist Chris Russell



posted on Apr, 3 2015 @ 08:34 AM
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Did they ever explain what is was? It's been enough time to study it.



posted on Apr, 3 2015 @ 09:25 AM
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from april1st



posted on Apr, 3 2015 @ 09:50 AM
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originally posted by: PandaLord
Did they ever explain what is was? It's been enough time to study it.


Not really. The Dawn spacecraft isn't yet in position do do its detailed study of Ceres.

It may have had its orbital insertion (being captured by Ceres gravity) back on March 6, and has since been allowing Ceres' gravity to pull it back toward the dwarf planet -- but it has not yet gotten close enough, nor in the correct orientation. This image shows Dawn's current position today (April 3). The red text and arrow were added by me:


Currently, if Dawn's cameras looked back toward Ceres, it would also have the Sun in the field of view, which could damage the image sensors if pictures were taken. On April 10, Dawn will begin swinging out of the dark side of Ceres, and will be able to start photographing. However those first photographs will still be mostly of the dark side, with the lit crescent being about 18% of the face.

Here is the entry in the "Dawn Mission Journal" from two days ago (April 1) explaining the orbital insertion and the upcoming picture opportunities (called "OpNavs"):

Dawn Journal: Preparing to Photograph Ceres



edit on 4/3/2015 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 3 2015 @ 10:19 AM
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originally posted by: PandaLord
Did they ever explain what is was? It's been enough time to study it.


Bad assumption. Space is weird, and stuff that looks weird may be normal there, you gotta try to stop applying earthside weirdness standards. This mission uses an ion drive that requires a slow approach from up sun, check out Emily Lackdawalla's blog.



posted on Apr, 3 2015 @ 10:39 AM
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a reply to: Loveaduck




It could also be aliens. I hope I am not the first one to tell you, they exist.



shhhhh...not so loud. They are looking through their telescopes but haven't see one to date. Therefore it stands to reason...we are alone.



posted on Apr, 3 2015 @ 10:41 AM
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originally posted by: JimOberg

originally posted by: PandaLord
Did they ever explain what is was? It's been enough time to study it.


Bad assumption. Space is weird, and stuff that looks weird may be normal there, you gotta try to stop applying earthside weirdness standards. This mission uses an ion drive that requires a slow approach from up sun, check out Emily Lackdawalla's blog.

Plus (if I may add), both of Dawn's reaction wheels have failed. It would have used the reaction wheels to orient it in the correct positions for orbital insertion, taking pictures, and turning the antenna back toward earth for the transmission of that image data and other data.

With the failure of the reaction wheels, Dawn must instead use its attitude control thrusters (different thrusters than the ion drive engines) to put it in the different orientations necessary to do its job. Unlike the ion drive, the attitude control thrusters use hydrazine fuel -- which has a far more limited supply that the fuel used to power the ion engines.

Because of this limitation, mission planners need to be much more judicious with the use of the attitude control thrusters in order to make sure there is enough fuel for Dawn to carry out its primary mission. Therefore, they needed to get creative with the orbital insertion approach, and also need to wait a little while until the spacecraft gets into the correct orientation not only to gather data, but also the correct orientation to be able to send that data back to Earth.


edit on 4/3/2015 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 3 2015 @ 10:48 AM
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originally posted by: MarioOnTheFly
a reply to: Loveaduck




It could also be aliens. I hope I am not the first one to tell you, they exist.



shhhhh...not so loud. They are looking through their telescopes but haven't see one to date. Therefore it stands to reason...we are alone.

Personally, I think intelligent life elsewhere almost surely exists. I would say from the circumstantial evidence (the vastness of the universe, and the knowledge we have of Earth life being tenacious), it is an almost certainty.

However, that's just my belief, that's why I say "almost surely". My belief doesn't really count; the universe couldn't care less about what I believe. Therefore, I could not state that as a "fact" until hard evidence is provided (contact, for example). So until then, I would say I'm 99.9999% sure life intelligent exists elsewhere, based solely on that circumstantial evidence. The only way to take that up to 100% for me would be to have positive confirmation via contact.


edit on 4/3/2015 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 3 2015 @ 11:03 AM
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a reply to: Soylent Green Is People

I was not referring to intelligent life elsewhere in the universe, which is almost a given...rather...that it's visiting us.



posted on Apr, 3 2015 @ 03:02 PM
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originally posted by: Loveaduck
a reply to: JadeStar

So you've visited and know no one is shining lights. But you are not sure what it actually is. Kind of an oxymoraon isn't that?


I believe the word you're looking for here is oxymoron and no it is not.

One doesn't have to visit Mars to know that it is red. Likewise, someone whose field is the study of planetary surfaces doesn't have to visit Ceres to tell you it's highly unlikely to have "lights".


You have a theory.


It's called sound reasoning.


It might not be accurate.


It's far more likely to be accurate than artificial lights on a dwarf planet.


Can't people just say they don't know what the heck it is...since you really don't?


Occam's Razor

In science, when we encounter something strange, the first place we go is to nature, not aliens.

There are plenty of far more plausible natural explanation for the bright spots that to characterize them as "lights" is moronic and ignorant of things like surface albedo and the highly reflective nature of ice.

edit on 3-4-2015 by JadeStar because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 3 2015 @ 05:23 PM
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originally posted by: PandaLord
Did they ever explain what is was? It's been enough time to study it.


As others have also pointed out, there has NOT been enough to time to get any better images, for reasons explained above. So often on these threads, wild-space-goose chases result from people whose assumptions far outreach their familiarity with the spaceflight operational features involved. I call these less-than-completely-valid assumptions "HALF-assumptions."
edit on 3-4-2015 by JimOberg because:



posted on Apr, 3 2015 @ 09:30 PM
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I hope that for Mr. Oberg's sake we get a bunch of aliens waving back at us in some pictures. I think Jim secretly wants us to make contact!



posted on Apr, 3 2015 @ 09:30 PM
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Forum/browser bug, double posted.

While I'm here though : Hail Oberg! (can you imagine if we found out one day that he was an alien? I want his autograph early incase that's revealed.)

*goes off to start a JimOberg alien fansite*
edit on 3-4-2015 by robhines because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 4 2015 @ 03:07 PM
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Sorry Jim, had been drinking for so long that I'm embarrassed to even say how many hours I was at it for, and was just messing around (my drunken humour is pretty crap at times as you can see, haha.)

Looking forward to seeing what this is as well.



posted on Apr, 11 2015 @ 01:00 AM
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LA Times article

This article says the first images are back.

“They are on the ground,” Dawn’s deputy principal investigator, Carol Raymond, said in an email, adding that the images will be released early next week.

3 things.

1. What exactly does she mean by "They" are on the ground.
2. What email?
3. Why release them early next week? Need time to photoshop?



posted on Apr, 11 2015 @ 07:03 AM
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originally posted by: robhines
I hope that for Mr. Oberg's sake we get a bunch of aliens waving back at us in some pictures. I think Jim secretly wants us to make contact!


In vino veritas.

You nailed it.

To quote Baudelaire, always be drunk on SOMETHING. For me, it's the awesomeness of the Universe's ability to astonish us.



posted on Apr, 11 2015 @ 10:10 AM
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a reply to: roncoallstar




“They are on the ground,”
is freaking me out a bit. After everything... Would be so awesome if that is where the assurance "We'll make contact in the next 10-20 years" would come from. There are bases on Ceres, it would be so cool...
NASA polishes all pictures before publishing and it is not that sinister, but we the public fund them, well you Americans, so they want to deliver something pretty. Which comes from someone who also knows: You don't work for NASA/ESA and stuff, if you don't swear you can keep a secret. But also why not: it is a matter of national security and we all know: this is the phrase that makes way for all the conspiracies.
I still think the happy bastards know we already made contact. And laughing their asses off at how we poor "want-to-believers", bite our own tails. Glaring at them, from a distance, with envy in our eyes. Not only a cool job, but also knowing what we would die for, to get to know too.



posted on Apr, 11 2015 @ 12:37 PM
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originally posted by: roncoallstar
LA Times article

This article says the first images are back.

“They are on the ground,” Dawn’s deputy principal investigator, Carol Raymond, said in an email, adding that the images will be released early next week.

3 things.

1. What exactly does she mean by "They" are on the ground.


She means the images have been downlinked. The images are now on the ground. Maybe if you quoted the article rather than quote without context it wouldn't seem as mysterious.


NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has sent back the first images of the dwarf planet after spending about a month approaching from the mysterious little world’s dark side, officials at Jet Propulsion Laboratory said Friday.

“They are on the ground,” Dawn’s deputy principal investigator, Carol Raymond, said in an email, adding that the images will be released early next week.




2. What email?


The email to the LA Times reporter.....duh.....



3. Why release them early next week?


Need time to process or put together the strips of images into the one cohesive "pretty picture" which the public sees.


Need time to photoshop?


Because NASA did that with the mysterious spots in the first place right? Duh.....



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