Ceres speculation begins

Saturday, December 27, 2014

I'm happy to see that speculation about Ceres (underground oceans, jets of water, life, potential colonization) has already begun. Articles like this one have begun to appear, and this when Dawn's best picture of Ceres is just 9 pixels across. If it were to take a picture of Ceres today it would be 16 pixels or so, but the next image won't be taken until January 13 at a resolution of 25 pixels. That still won't be as good as Hubble but it will be a treat. Also the first image taken for navigation purposes, as the last one was to calibrate its science camera.

After that January 26 will come around when we see the first better-than-Hubble image of Ceres. Dawn will then approach Ceres, pass by it a bit, get captured in March, and turn back. Not sure what pictures we'll have around this time, but once we have anything better than Hubble the mission will be a success.

In any case, massive speculation about Ceres should begin in just 18 or so days. In the meantime New Horizons won't be at better than Hubble resolution for Pluto until May, so January to May will be Dawn's time to own the limelight.


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