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Post Info TOPIC: Ceres


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The Moon will occult the magnitude 7.5 asteroid (1) Ceres on the 29th May, 2010 @ ~22:03 UT.
The event is visible from south Africa.

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ceres-2010-5-27-17h58m.gif

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Ephemeris
Date    TT    R. A. (2000) Decl.     Delta      r     Elong.  Phase     V

2006 05 26 22 01.13 -21 09.1 2.616 2.956 99.5 19.8 8.8
2006 05 27 22 01.78 -21 10.3 2.603 2.957 100.3 19.7 8.8
2006 05 28 22 02.41 -21 11.6 2.590 2.957 101.1 19.7 8.8
2006 05 29 22 03.02 -21 13.0 2.577 2.957 101.9 19.6 8.8
2006 05 30 22 03.62 -21 14.6 2.564 2.958 102.7 19.5 8.8
2006 05 31 22 04.19 -21 16.3 2.551 2.958 103.6 19.5 8.7


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The Moon will occult the magnitude 7.5 asteroid (1) Ceres on the 29th May, 2010 @ ~22:03 UT.
The event is visible from South Africa.

-- Edited by Blobrana on Wednesday 26th of May 2010 10:34:14 PM

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The magnitude 8.5 asteroid (1) Ceres will occult a magnitude 11.7 star in the constellation Sagittarius, at 05:33 UT, 6th April, 2010.
The 97.6 second event is visible from Brazil and Bolivia.

Position (2000): RA 18 12 40.0239, Dec -21 40 34.945

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The magnitude 8.9 asteroid (1) Ceres will occult a magnitude 11.1
star (GSC 06243-00292) in the constellation Ophiuchus between 21:47 - 21:50 UT, 25th February, 2010.
The 37.8 second event is visible from Indonesia, SE Asia, and India.

Position (2000): RA 17 35 46.0848, Dec -20 27 59.142

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Ceres Polar Lander
With solar system exploration progressing at pace, some scientists are considering missions to often overlooked worlds. One of these is Ceres, the smallest known dwarf planet which lies within the asteroid belt. Investigations have shown that it is an excellent target for exploration and may even have astrobiological significance.
Jol Poncy is in charge of interplanetary advanced projects within the Observation and Science Directorate of Thales Alenia Space, a European company that works on satellite systems and other orbital infrastructures. This organisation has been involved in many scientific missions, including the Huygens probe, CoRoT, ExoMars, Mars Express and Venus Express. Poncy and his team, in association with Olivier Grasset and Gabriel Tobie from LPG-Nantes, now have turned their eyes to Ceres.

Source

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Astrobiologists hope to find life elsewhere in the universe, or possibly even in our own cosmic neighbourhood, the solar system. Their efforts are usually concentrated on worlds such as the planet Mars, or icy moons like Europa. However, there are other, less conventional locations in the solar system where scientists think life may be found.

Ceres: an unusual choice

At the International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life conference in Florence, Italy, Joop Houtkooper from the University of Giessen divulged a theory that life could have originated on an object in the asteroid belt named Ceres.

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The dwarf planet Ceres - and other icy chunks - may have been born in the same realm as Pluto, but travelled all the way to the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. If so, it would be further evidence that a massive upheaval rearranged the early solar system.

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Title: Near-Infrared Mapping and Physical Properties of the Dwarf-Planet Ceres
Authors: Benoit Carry, Christophe Dumas, Marcello Fulchignoni, William J. Merline, Jerome Berthier, Daniel Hestroffer, Thierry Fusco, Peter Tamblyn

We study the physical characteristics (shape, dimensions, spin axis direction, albedo maps, mineralogy) of the dwarf-planet Ceres based on high-angular resolution near-infrared observations. We analyse adaptive optics J/H/K imaging observations of Ceres performed at Keck II Observatory in September 2002 with an equivalent spatial resolution of ~50 km. The spectral behaviour of the main geological features present on Ceres is compared with laboratory samples. Ceres' shape can be described by an oblate spheroid (a = b = 479.7 2.3 km, c = 444.4 2.1 km) with EQJ2000.0 spin vector coordinates RA = 288 5 deg. and DEC = +66 5 deg. Ceres sidereal period is measured to be 9.0741 0.0001 h. We image surface features with diameters in the 50-180 km range and an albedo contrast of ~6% with respect to the average Ceres albedo. The spectral behaviour of the brightest regions on Ceres is consistent with phyllosilicates and carbonate compounds. Darker isolated regions could be related to the presence of frost.

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