|Fig. 1 The ice dome on Ceres (Click to Enlarge)|
The Asteroid Belt is located between the planets Mars and Jupiter.
In the previous post of this series we took note of the odd "pyramid mountain" that is higher than any mountain in the continental U.S. (Dawn Mission Nears Ceres Orbit Maneuvers - 2).
One of the inquiries ongoing in this series is whether we have better evidence now that Dawn's orbit is closer to Ceres than the International Space Station is to the Earth.
This evidence IMO indicates further that the Exploded Planet Hypothesis (EPH) or Exploded Planet Theory (EPT) is substantiated (Are Some or All Comets Pieces of an Exploded Planet?).
The Dredd Blog post Weekend Rebel Science Excursion - 46 details some of the fundamentals of that hypothesis or theory.
The speculation about Ceres having an ocean within it is getting some more consideration too.
The dynamic involved, which advances the notion of a subsurface body of salt water, is similar to dynamics on Saturn's moon Enceladus (Weekend Rebel Science Excursion - 40).
|Fig. 2 Closer up (click to enlarge)|
On Enceladus, water reaches the surface and is vented into space, which eventually builds one of the outer rings of the planet Saturn.
Enceladus is covered by a thick ice sheet, but in the case of Ceres, all of the underground water is covered by a global crust of rock, dirt, and debris.
The dynamic taking place on Ceres, like Enceladus, is that some of the subsurface water is forced up to the surface.
Enceladus has extreme venting of water because the powerful gravity of Saturn creates serious pressures within Enceladus.
On Ceres there is no such pressure, so the forces there slowly form a dome of salty ice, then as the ice sublimates it leaves a salty residue (an ice volcano dynamic).
IMO this is more evidence of a fairly recent (in cosmological time scales) planetary catastrophe which blanketed the solar system with craters caused by pieces of the planet being blasted out in all directions.
The reason I say "recent" is that all the water would have by now oozed out if these two bodies were formed billions of years ago.
The explosion that destroyed a planet and left a rock pile of debris in our solar system, IMO took place millions of years ago, not billions.
If it had been billions the water would have been gone long ago because that water is a finite resource on a small dwarf planet.
The previous post in this series is here.