NASA data suggests ocean of ‘salty water’ on dwarf planet Ceres

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News: According to the data collected by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, dwarf planet Ceres reportedly has salty water underground.

Facts:

  • Ocean World: These findings have given Ceres the status of an ocean world as it has a big reservoir of salty water underneath its frigid surface.
  • Subsurface Oceans on other Celestial Bodies: Jupiter’s moon Europa, Saturn’s moon Enceladus, Neptune’s moon Triton and the dwarf planet Pluto are also known to have Subsurface Oceans.

Additional Facts:

  • Dwarf planet Ceres: It is the largest object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter and the only dwarf planet located in the inner solar system.
    • It has a diameter of about 950 km which is more than one-fourth of Earth’s moon.
    • It does not have any moon or rings.It also has a 92 km wide crater named Occator located in its northern hemisphere.
  • Dwarf Planet: According to the International Astronomical Union, a dwarf planet is a celestial body that- orbits the sun, has enough mass to assume a nearly round shape, has not cleared the neighborhood around its orbit and is not a moon.
  • Dawn Spacecraft: It is a retired space probe launched by NASA in 2007 with the mission of studying two of the three known protoplanets of the asteroid belt, Vesta and Ceres.