What at first appeared to be nothing more than a lifeless ball of rock has turned into a complete mystery, prompting conspiracy theories around aliens, fresh water on the surface and more.
Centred around this was the ‘bright spot’, a highlighted area at the centre of one of Ceres’ largest craters. No-one knew what caused it, but everyone had a theory.
Well now NASA has confirmed that the mystery has been solved, it is in fact a vast crater made from salt.
According to the scientists who investigated the ‘bright spot’ the salt deposits where caused when the asteroid in question struck the surface of the planet. It hit Ceres with such forces that it caused liquid trapped underground to rise up and seep onto the surface.
Of course the liquid then immediately turned into vapour leaving nothing but salt behind.
Another recent image by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has captured a new image of Ceres which scientists claim is an accurate representation of what we would see with our own eyes.
Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2016