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Cryovolcanism Helped Shape Dwarf Planet Ceres

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The prominent mountain Ahuna Mons is visible on Ceres’ limb. Ahuna Mons has been interpreted as a cryovolcanic edifice. Numerous older, more rounded mountains, like those seen in the lower half of this image, give Ceres a "lumpy" appearance. Work by PSI Senior Scientist Hanna Sizemore and others suggests these mountains may be more ancient volcanoes, revealing a long history of volcanism on Ceres. "Ceres is a little world that ought to be ‘dead,’ but these new results suggest it might not be," says Sizemore. "Cryovolcanic rates on Ceres revealed by topography" has been published in Nature Astronomy, with lead author Michael Sori of the University of Arizona. Sizemore's research was funded by a grant from NASA's Dawn at Ceres Guest Investigator program to the Planetary Science Institute.

September 17, 2018
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