Rivkin, Andrew Applied Physics Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University, Laurel, Maryland.
Last reviewed:November 2019
Show previous versions
- Discovery of Ceres
- Understanding prior to the Dawn mission
- Findings from Dawn
- Unresolved questions
- Ongoing activity
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The largest object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. As an astronomical body, Ceres contains sufficient mass for gravitation to have pulled it into a round shape, in contrast to lumpy, irregularly shaped asteroids. This characteristic establishes Ceres as a dwarf planet, the only one located in the inner solar system. In further distinction from rocky, metallic asteroids, Ceres likely has a substantial amount of ice in its interior. Calculations suggest that this interior ice remained liquid for long geological periods. Researchers have identified numerous potential "cryovolcanoes," containing magmas of water rather than rock, which may be responsible for bringing minerals formed in the Cereian interior to its surface, for instance, as patches of brightly colored carbonate minerals. Otherwise, Ceres has a dark appearance similar to so-called G-type asteroids (Fig. 1). See also: Asteroid; Carbonate minerals; Gravitation; Magma; Planet; Solar system; Volcano
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 43 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8500 articles and Research Reviews covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information