News That Matters

Tag: Ceres

Gravity data details Ceres wandering pole

Gravity data details Ceres wandering pole

Science
Oct. 8 (UPI) -- Ceres, the solar system's innermost dwarf planet, features a wandering pole, new research confirms. Using gravity data collected by NASA's Dawn mission, researchers at the Planetary Science Institute were able to map density variations in Ceres crust, revealing topographical anomalies best explained by a polar reorientation. "The topography shows the remnants of an equatorial ridge compatible with the position of the paleo-equator," researchers wrote in a paper published this week in the journal Nature Geoscience. The axis around which a planetary body spins affects the density of the body's outer layers, including the crust. When the axis shifts and poles reorient themselves, crustal or topographical anomalies can emerge. On Ceres, scientists found evidence of a former e...