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Herschel telescope detects water on dwarf planet in asteroid belt

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posted on Feb, 3 2014 @ 05:19 PM
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Scientists using the Herschel space observatory have made the first definitive detection of water vapor on the largest and roundest object in the asteroid belt, Ceres. Plumes of water vapor are thought to shoot up periodically from Ceres when portions of its icy surface warm slightly. Ceres is classified as a dwarf planet, a solar system body bigger than an asteroid and smaller than a planet.




I found this to be interesting.... for all intents and purposes is this thing mostly water? This seems very unusual, a spherical body with a water vapor atmosphere... or is it the illustration that's creating a bias?


Scientists using the Herschel space observatory have made the first definitive detection of water vapor on the largest and roundest object in the asteroid belt, Ceres.

Plumes of water vapor are thought to shoot up periodically from Ceres when portions of its icy surface warm slightly. Ceres is classified as a dwarf planet, a solar system body bigger than an asteroid and smaller than a planet.

Herschel is a European Space Agency (ESA) mission with important NASA contributions.


The deputy principal investigator for Dawn [satellite mission] at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California said "We've got a spacecraft on the way to Ceres, so we don't have to wait long before getting more context on this intriguing result, right from the source itself, Dawn will map the geology and chemistry of the surface in high resolution, revealing the processes that drive the outgassing activity."

Ceres proved to be such a bruiser in the asteroid belt that the International Astronomical Union reclassified it as a 'dwarf planet.' It's about 590 miles (950 kilometers) 'round.' Ceres appears to be a rock core a mantle of ice so voluminous that it contains more fresh water than is present on Earth.

Imagine the enterprise of orchestrating the eventual mining of such a resource, as we continue dumping our waste in our ecosystem. Perhaps there is enough greed in the world to make it happen... because God knows, no one will do it because it's the right thing to do.


The Dawn mission will take JPL "for" NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington closer to "mission" science, for a change. This is one of the huge multinational efforts; Orbital Sciences Corp. in Dulles, Va., (who designed and built the probe,) the German Aerospace Center, the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, the Italian Space Agency and the Italian National Astrophysical Institute are all on the mission team while Caltech manages JPL for NASA.

I have to wonder at the organization they must all share to work on a mission like this...


More information about Herschel is online at: www.esa.int... More information about NASA's role in Herschel is available at: www.nasa.gov... For more information about NASA's Dawn mission, visit: www.nasa.gov...


Source attribution: www.sciencedaily.com...

edit on 3-2-2014 by Maxmars because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 3 2014 @ 05:26 PM
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Sulu, lock the tractor beams on that rock. Scotty lets get moving, warp one. What is the status of the rock Spock. We'll haul it back to earth and drop it on Obama.



posted on Feb, 3 2014 @ 05:35 PM
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It has more fresh water than on earth? this could be great news in the future when we are running out, maybe we could drag it a bit closer and mine the sweet sweet space water

S&F.



posted on Feb, 3 2014 @ 05:44 PM
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reply to post by boymonkey74
 


If a ball of ice, 590 miles across is out there in space, and there is no salt there, then I would not be at all surprised to find that there is more fresh water there than here on this planet. Let's face it, the vast majority of the liquid water on this planet is salty!



posted on Feb, 3 2014 @ 05:46 PM
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reply to post by TrueBrit
 


I remember seeing that all the water on earth would be a 600 mile sphere, so this planetoid has just a shy short of all the water here.
Someone correct me If iam wrong



posted on Feb, 3 2014 @ 05:48 PM
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reply to post by boymonkey74
 


you can turn seawater into freshwater for a small fraction of what it would take to mine water in the solar system.



posted on Feb, 3 2014 @ 05:48 PM
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reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan
 


Wheres the fun in that? I want to be a space trucking planetoid puller



posted on Feb, 3 2014 @ 05:51 PM
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reply to post by boymonkey74
 


Ah, yes, however, as I said, most of the water here is salty, where as, if it is true that Ceres is largely made up of fresh water, then it would be more fresh water than we have here. The 600 mile ball that would be made from the water on our planet, would be salt water, unless they are saying that before this hypothetical ball were created, the entire mess of water here on this planet would first have to be pumped through a desalination process!



posted on Feb, 3 2014 @ 05:58 PM
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boymonkey74
reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan
 


Wheres the fun in that? I want to be a space trucking planetoid puller


Do the Kessel Run in under 12 parsecs, totally.


Can I be your Wookie?



posted on Feb, 3 2014 @ 06:00 PM
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reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan
 


Don't get cocky kid.


Sure you can
I bet it would be more like spaceballs though



posted on Feb, 3 2014 @ 06:10 PM
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Ceres is pretty close to the freezeout point, so I dont think so much that it will have a watery atmosphere, Id predict that it has more of a low lying haze/wisps of water vapour that it outgasses constantly (and more so depending on distance to the sun)

Pretty awesome that there is something already on its way there. Will be amazing to get thing mapped.

Also the artistic impression of the asteroid belt is... very very wrong. Average distance between objects is pretty enormous.



posted on Feb, 3 2014 @ 06:32 PM
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Wouldn't towing it cause it to melt as it got closer to our planet?

Arrrgghhhh.....I'M NOT GOING TO LIVE LONG ENOUGH TO SEE THIS ACTUALLY HAPPEN!!!!!!



posted on Feb, 3 2014 @ 07:14 PM
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reply to post by Maxmars
 


With my telescope I can see water right here on earth. And it is fresh too! Guess what? It is way easier to get too also, and we have a natural system to filtrates it for free, all we have to do is stop getting in the way and working WITH it instead of having it obey us. Wow, can get a nobel prize for that now can we.

We have so much water right here on earth don't need to go out looking for it. If all the science projects that go wrong here on earth can be stopped we wont need to go looking for it.

I feel like this justifies that we can continue polluting and acting like fools.



posted on Feb, 3 2014 @ 08:56 PM
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rickymouse
Sulu, lock the tractor beams on that rock. Scotty lets get moving, warp one. What is the status of the rock Spock. We'll haul it back to earth and drop it on Obama.


You forgot the commander's "Make it so...."



posted on Feb, 3 2014 @ 09:53 PM
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boymonkey74
reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan
 


Don't get cocky kid.


Sure you can
I bet it would be more like spaceballs though

OMG, you & BFFT in space. I'd love to be the dust in the filtration system to be able to hear which one of you says "Ludicrous speed, GO!"


Back to the OP. I don't think it would be a Plan B for water on Earth, but in future generations (many of them into the future) I think it's plausible it might be a watering hole pit stop for crafts. Top off the water supply a bit on your way in or out of the system. Or maybe not, I don't know.


It also got me wondering about the water on other habitable planets. Now I'm curious, will we ever find one that is entirely a freshwater planet, as in the majority of the liquid water not being salty? I wonder what the possible odds of that are, I've never thought about it, thus never looked into it....



posted on Feb, 4 2014 @ 01:03 AM
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bitsforbytes
reply to post by Maxmars
 

With my telescope I can see water right here on earth. And it is fresh too! Guess what? It is way easier to get too also, and we have a natural system to filtrates it for free, all we have to do is stop getting in the way and working WITH it instead of having it obey us. Wow, can get a nobel prize for that now can we.

We have so much water right here on earth don't need to go out looking for it. If all the science projects that go wrong here on earth can be stopped we wont need to go looking for it.

I feel like this justifies that we can continue polluting and acting like fools.


How we affect our planet is a topic for another discussion, but you're point is well-taken.

I absolutely agree that we should strive to balance ourselves ecologically. The only difference is, I just don't see the "people" doing it. Much of our culture has been seized by an ideology of entertainment, leisure, voyeurism, and dare I say it, idol-worship and materialism... relatively few would be willing to endure an uncomfortable change.

I rather, envision an Earth where we pass the maximum of concealable man-generated commercial and industrial hazards. We will, of course, adapt and overcome, and this satellite appears to be a lofty possibility of reprieve from the inevitable...

We will finally succumb to some level of decrepitude or degeneracy which can no longer be cast off as anything "other" than a massive tainting of the biosphere with chemical, or particulate materials antagonistic to life processes. At such a point I hope someone will remember - you don't have to kill off the "useless eaters" - you don't have to "start rationing" - you don't have to "make a killing" - you need to look up... at the larger picture.

edit on 4-2-2014 by Maxmars because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 5 2014 @ 09:13 PM
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reply to post by Maxmars
 


Yes, I think we were primitive in the past on purpose because we understood something simple: earth doesn't belong to us we belong to the earth.



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