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Old 05-21-2015, 09:37 PM   #1
Undertoad
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May 21, 2015: Light on Ceres



This is the best image so far of the bright spot on Ceres - a "dwarf planet" which is the largest item in the asteroid belt; dwarf planet is a term which is not found to be derogatory. Gravdigr had previously pointed to Ceres in another thread, but that was two and a half months ago; now NASA's Dawn spacecraft has gone and orbited the dwarf (the subplanet, not Gravdigr) to get a better shot, and the strange, unsolved mystery light on the rock is much higher resolution, and we can all stare in wonder... because, obviously...

...we found them.

NASA's so-called "scientists" don't know why that light is there. They are claiming that this is not the alien horde waiting to attack our home planet, but rather might be a patch of reflective ice, or something volcanic, or outgassing. What do they know? I outgas all the time, and it looks nothing like this.

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Old 05-21-2015, 10:43 PM   #2
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What's the relative size of the bright spots? I have no idea how big Ceres is...
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Old 05-22-2015, 08:13 AM   #3
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This image from Wikipedia shows the relative size of the Earth, Moon, and smaller Ceres.
Name:  Ceres,_Earth_&_Moon_size_comparison small.jpg
Views: 696
Size:  92.4 KB
Pretty cool that this planet is so close, between Mars and Jupiter.
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Old 05-22-2015, 09:08 AM   #4
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And I couldn't find any mention of the size of the spots, so I looked up the diameter of Ceres (590 miles) and measured how many pixels across it was in this image, and then measured the pixels of the two spots and did the math to get their size in miles. (They are 20 miles across)

Name:  PIA19547-Ceres-DwarfPlanet-Dawn-20 miles.jpg
Views: 692
Size:  74.1 KB
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Old 05-22-2015, 09:11 AM   #5
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That's a good-sized alien base, then. Worth conquering.
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Old 05-22-2015, 09:14 AM   #6
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Let's hope that it is Vulcan's and not Klingon's, or Romulan's.
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Old 05-22-2015, 10:17 AM   #7
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for the history deficient, 20sq mile cube is (was) the size of the fusion reactors on Altair IV (aka Forbidden Planet).
And we all know how well that turned out.
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Old 05-22-2015, 11:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glatt View Post
And I couldn't find any mention of the size of the spots, so I looked up the diameter of Ceres (590 miles) and measured how many pixels across it was in this image, and then measured the pixels of the two spots and did the math to get their size in miles. (They are 20 miles across)

Attachment 51705
Thank FSM that a smart boy like you, with obviously too much time on his hands, is not a sociopath.
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Old 05-22-2015, 03:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by footfootfoot View Post
with obviously too much time on his hands
It's so damn quiet here today. There are a few things I could be doing, but I had no motivation. None of it was urgent at all.

All day, I've been researching purchasing a new-to-me camera off Ebay. I need to sell a couple more things to get enough funds built up in PayPal, but I'm toying with either a Panasonic DMC-FZ70 (which is a very nice super zoom upgrade of my current decade old camera) or going up to a DSLR like the Nikon D5100.

This weekend, I'm going to list my old 35mm Nikon gear and hope to get $100 or so. That will put me in striking distance of a DSLR.
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Old 05-28-2015, 04:09 PM   #10
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Another possibility: It's a bird turd stuck to the telescope's lens.
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Old 06-10-2015, 10:27 PM   #11
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They got closer again:

Quote:
The brightest spots on dwarf planet Ceres are seen in this image taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft
on June 6, 2015. This is among the first snapshots from Dawn's second mapping orbit, which is
2,700 miles (4,400 kilometers) in altitude. The resolution is 1,400 feet (410 meters) per pixel.
Well if this is the image, it's 1024 pixels wide; and the bright spots are about 80 pixels across...
that would make the spots 21.2 miles across. give or take a mile, confirming Glatt's earlier math.

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Old 08-08-2015, 08:41 PM   #12
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Here's an interesting YouTube dated 8/6/15...

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Old 09-09-2015, 10:02 AM   #13
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This is great, they keep on circling Ceres and taking more and better pics. This morning's release:

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=4714



This is 600 by 600 pixels and each pixel is 450 feet (140 meters).
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Old 09-09-2015, 10:37 AM   #14
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Looks like it might be dusk there, and the inhabitants of the city are just beginning to turn on their lights.
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Old 09-10-2015, 05:31 PM   #15
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That looks like the stippling pattern of snow on rock, to me.
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