Researchers have found some evidence that the domes present on the surface of the dwarf planet Ceres consist of slurry, which is a combination of solid particles and salty brine. In the current study, the data was obtained from the Dawn spacecraft that analyzed the Ceres’ domes. Previously in 2015, Dawn space probe of NASA showed that the dwarf planet had a domed-shaped mountain around 4 Kilometers high and 17 Kilometers wide and it has been named Ahuna Mons as it rises from the surface of Ceres.
The dwarf planet is present in the asteroid belt of our solar system. The volcanism study suggested that the dome-shape streaked mountain has salt on its slope similar to that of the volcanoes on Earth or icy domes observed on few of the moons of the Solar System. The current study shows that it does not match the process of creating volcanism on the dwarf planet. Due to its small size, the planet cools down easily and solidifies such that no interior activity takes place. In the case of Ceres, the logic appears invalid.
The previous study showed that Ceres had a fluid-filled mantle. With the help of gravity field maps obtained from Dawn, the researchers found a cloud of gas rising from the mantle to the dome. The plume showed the presence of a mud-like mix of water, salt, and more particles rising above the domes formed. In the Solar System, the plume is an undocumented data until now. It may be due to the composition of the plume that the Ceres’ mantle is to date roiling and pushing up the materials into the dome and making it grow. NASA’s Dawn Spacecraft had previously found carbon-based materials on the Ceres suggesting that primitive life may have once developed there. Christopher Russell of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) thus worked towards exploring Ceres.
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