Ceres is the largest object in the Solar System’s asteroid belt with a diameter of about 950 kilometers (590 miles). Above,
Ceres is in
true color, based on image data from the Dawn spacecraft recorded on May 4, 2015. On the first one, you can see Occator crater which has caused a lot of speculation with its bright cluster of spots. Two of Ceres’ other famous spots at Oxo crater and Haulani crater are near center and center right of the second image.
Aliens would be a great explanation to those bright lights but observations suggest that they could be made primarily of hydrated magnesium sulfates.
Scientists’ best explanation now for the deposits of salt is that when asteroids crash into Ceres, they excavate underground briny water-ice. Once on the surface and exposed to the vacuum of space, the ice sublimes, the water molecules going directly from the solid ice to gas without an intermediate liquid stage. Left behind are the materials that had been dissolved in the water. The size and brightness of the different regions depend in part on how long ago the impact occurred. (as explained here)
Below is an animation made with the color and stereo pictures of the Occator crater. The colors indicate different compositions.
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