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Fri Mar 6, 2015, 11:45 AM

Probe 'Dawn' enters orbit of dwarf planet Ceres: NASA

Last edited Fri Mar 6, 2015, 01:11 PM - Edit history (1)

Source: AFP

Washington (AFP) - The space probe Dawn began orbiting the dwarf planet Ceres Friday on a voyage of discovery into the solar system's main asteroid belt, NASA said Friday.

The probe -- the first to orbit a dwarf planet -- will stay over the mysterious body for sixteen months to study its structure and gather clues to help mankind better understand how the planets were created.

The space probe was captured by the dwarf planet's gravity at 1239 GMT, some 38,000 miles (61,000kilometers) from Ceres's surface.

About an hour later, it sent a signal to mission controllers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California to say it was "healthy and thrusting with its ion engine," the space agency said in a statement.

Read more: http://news.yahoo.com/probe-dawn-enters-orbit-dwarf-planet-ceres-nasa-145801050.html

13 replies, 1937 views

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Arrow 13 replies Author Time Post
Reply Probe 'Dawn' enters orbit of dwarf planet Ceres: NASA (Original post)
Bosonic Mar 2015 OP
elias49 Mar 2015 #1
LongTomH Mar 2015 #5
muriel_volestrangler Mar 2015 #2
Plucketeer Mar 2015 #3
NBachers Mar 2015 #4
Baclava Mar 2015 #6
Telcontar Mar 2015 #9
Baclava Mar 2015 #12
Android3.14 Mar 2015 #7
blkmusclmachine Mar 2015 #8
Calista241 Mar 2015 #10
Baclava Mar 2015 #11
Octafish Mar 2015 #13

Response to Bosonic (Original post)

Fri Mar 6, 2015, 11:58 AM

1. Isn't Ceres the little 'planet' that had a light shining

 

on recent photos? What the heck could that have been I wonder?

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Response to elias49 (Reply #1)

Fri Mar 6, 2015, 01:30 PM

5. Probably - water ice in a deep crater.

Ceres does have a large water content; there may be a subsurface layer of ice, even liquid water.

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Response to Bosonic (Original post)

Fri Mar 6, 2015, 12:01 PM

2. The final approach is quite weird, thanks to a cosmic ray hit that stopped the thruster

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Response to Bosonic (Original post)

Fri Mar 6, 2015, 01:06 PM

3. If only.....

 

If only we could collectively focus on exploration and discovery of everything around us - instead of the phony baloney of trying to annihilate one another over who's sky god is the one true power and judge of our fates.
There may well not be any "intelligent life" out there. I am feeling ever more assured that once intelligence comes out of the soup of evolution, it ultimately destroys itself - just as we're doing on earth.

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Response to Bosonic (Original post)

Fri Mar 6, 2015, 01:09 PM

4. A size comparison of Ceres, Earth, and the Moon

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Response to Bosonic (Original post)

Fri Mar 6, 2015, 01:58 PM

6. Dawn: 'Confirmed: I am in orbit around #Ceres'

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Response to Baclava (Reply #6)

Fri Mar 6, 2015, 08:36 PM

9. Thank you for sharing

 

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Response to Telcontar (Reply #9)

Fri Mar 6, 2015, 09:36 PM

12. Robots rule

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Response to Bosonic (Original post)

Fri Mar 6, 2015, 02:33 PM

7. Those white spots sure are curious

 

I'm betting on exposed metal deposits or salt, but I'm hoping for alien solar collectors.

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Response to Bosonic (Original post)

Fri Mar 6, 2015, 06:38 PM

8. Why need NASA, science, or politicians, when you've got God on your side?!?!

 



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Response to Bosonic (Original post)

Fri Mar 6, 2015, 09:06 PM

10. This is awesome.

Dawn is going to orbit Ceres for the rest of its life. I believe they think it'll orbit Ceres in perpetuity unless it collides with another object. Maybe it'll still be there in thousands of years when the aliens discover the human race obliterated itself.

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Response to Calista241 (Reply #10)

Fri Mar 6, 2015, 09:19 PM

11. ...or maybe we wake the slumber of The Old Ones

'The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.' - The Call of Cthulhu

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Response to Bosonic (Original post)

Fri Mar 6, 2015, 09:43 PM

13. Truly amazing spacecraft.

Visited and now orbited the two largest bodies in the asteroid belt.

Remarkable achievement of engineering. May the science astound us all. Going by the initial pictures, it already has.

Like Scotty said: "Ach. Ion power, too."

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