NASA's Dawn space probe continues to shed more light regarding the mysterious bright spots on the surface of planet Ceres as the spacecraft captured new image of the dwarf planet in between the planet Mars and Jupiter.
Planet Ceres has long captivated the imagination of experts similar to its neighboring planets. However, scientist were more mystified with the glimmer coming from the surface of the Ceres located in 57-mile-wide and 2.5-mile-deep region known as the Occator Crater. Experts believed that these bright spots clumped in the area are likely inorganic salts exposed after the water from the region vaporized over the years.
With the recent update, space agency released online the newest image captured last October 16, 2016 by the NASA's Dawn space probe. Hovering from an altitude of 920 miles, the image showed not just the central bright area Ceres, but also the secondary less-reflective areas of the particular region, according to Yahoo News.
Although the image cannot conclusively determine the mysteries behind the shimmering lights from the planet Ceres, experts theorized that its exposure was caused by an asteroid impact unearthing the mixture of ice and salt. Andreas Nathues, a scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Göttingen, Germany, also added that what we are currently seeing right now could probably be remnants of evaporation process and most probably "the last phase of a formerly more active period."
In a separate report, NASA's Mars Spirit rover may have also encountered an evidence of previous life on Mars. With the ability of the Mars rover to capture and preserve biosignatures, scientists were led to confirm that Silica deposits on Mars with features resembling hot spring biosignatures at El Tatio in Chile.
"Although fully abiotic processes are not ruled out for the Martian silica structures, they satisfy an a priori definition of potential biosignatures," Scientists at Arizona State University (ASU) wrote in Nature Communications Journal.
Now with the recent updates on extra-terrestrial life forms being gradually revealed, it would not be too long for NASA to fully confirm the existence of alien life. Guess we would just have to wait and let the mystery of space gradually unfold.