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originally posted by: egidio88
gosh, people, did you all forget about this? =,(
In one study, scientists identify this bright material as a kind of salt. [...] Study authors, led by Andreas Nathues at Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Göttingen, Germany, write that the bright material is consistent with a type of magnesium sulfate called hexahydrite. A different type of magnesium sulfate is familiar on Earth as Epsom salt.
Nathues and colleagues, using images from Dawn's framing camera, suggest that these salt-rich areas were left behind when water-ice sublimated in the past. Impacts from asteroids would have unearthed the mixture of ice and salt, they say.
"The global nature of Ceres' bright spots suggests that this world has a subsurface layer that contains briny water-ice," Nathues said.
originally posted by: micpsi
But the bright spots would not remain just as bright even when the surrounding region is in shadow, if the brightness was caused by light reflecting off a white material like magnesium sulphate.
It is not enough to provide a possible reason for the surface of Ceres in some places looking brilliantly white when the sun is above the horizon. One must also explain why these bright spots persist when the sun is below the horizon. The latest speculation from NASA fails to do this because even very white material does not remain brilliantly white in pitch darkness - which is what photos indicate.
originally posted by: Saint Exupery
I'm surprised we haven't seen a much shorter exposure so that we can see unsaturated details within the area.
This image from NASA's Dawn spacecraft shows Kupalo Crater, one of the youngest craters on Ceres. The crater has bright material exposed on its rim and walls, which could be salts. Its flat floor likely formed from impact melt and debris.
Kupalo, which measures 16 miles (26 kilometers) across and is located at southern mid-latitudes, is named for the Slavic god of vegetation and harvest.