The National Aeronautics and Astronautics Division (NASA) recently announced that the "Dawn" detector had been running out of fuel, could not direct its main antenna towards the Earth, or directed its solar panels towards the sun. Due to the lack of mobility, the "Dawn" mission was officially over. "Dawn" is still in orbit of Ceres and will stay for decades.
So, should the world send a new messenger to Ceres? What is the main task of the new messenger? The US space network drew attention to the report on November 6.
Ceres needs to enter the surface
"Dawn" found that Ceres' surface was dotted with hundreds of strange accents, too much water ice and organic molecules (essential components of life). But at the end of the "Dawn" mission, scientists still have big doubts that have not yet been clarified. Paul Schenk, a scientist who joined the mission of Ceres, and member of the University Space Research Society from the Moon and Planet Institute, said: 39 To solve these problems, the information from the orbit is still limited so that the surface of Ceres & # 39; it may be necessary to go in depth. . "
Okato should focus on crater
Schenk said he hoped to have a detector to investigate the Occator Crater. An image taken by Dawn in October 2016 shows a bright field on Ceres in the crater. The crater is 92 kilometers wide and contains the largest and brightest highlights of Ceres and contains salt deposits – the sediments released by salt water freeze and freeze on the surface. This discovery reveals that the interior of Ceres is warmer than scientists think.
In addition, the most common mineral in the Okato crater is sodium carbonate, which is also common in hydrothermal activity on earth (including Yellowstone National Park). "It is well known that certain bacteria will survive here," said Schenk.
But he also said that the survival of microbes on Ceres was çünkü very likely olası because the heat created by the effect lasted a lifetime. It is important to know that the world's oldest forms emerged 700 million years after the Earth was formed. Ir Such an effect produces sufficiently hot melted ice and then produces groundwater circulating in the center. But for tens of thousands of millions of years, the hot zone shrinks and the water continues to freeze. Fakat
Schenk said that Ceres & # 39; s life could be a habitat for life, and the hydrothermal process seen on it could help the solar system understand similar processes on other celestial bodies, such as wood, thought to be most likely to be extraterrestrial in the solar system. Wei Er, Titan. Organisms with similar characteristics in other celestial bodies, such as bacteria living in deep-sea hydrothermal vents, may not need sunlight, but can rely on geothermal energy to survive.
As for Ceres, being shot by other large space rocks seems to be the source of geothermal energy. Vs. The hydrothermal reaction between the impactor and the water will form minerals on the surface of Ceres, how it works on other planets, including Mars, and how these materials reach the surface, su said Schenck. understand the whole solar system. Hydrothermal process is very important. Although we have a lot of information on this planet, the chemical properties of the Earth's shell are very different from those of Ceres. "
Landing and circulation to Ceres
Schenk said that he hopes many scientists will make a landing in Ceres for further exploration, as the Okato crater has some of the conditions necessary for life to appear in other celestial bodies. Ideally, any future mission will include a small rover.
"Dawn" can only learn from the orbit of Ceres, and the nearest trajectory to Ceres is about 35 km, but the detectors descending into Ceres' surface, the removal of specimens, and the combination of Ceres. In situ or spacecraft to obtain more information can be obtained by analyzing. information.
Schenck says that the "dawn" detector uses a spectrometer to determine the elemental composition on the surface of the dwarf planet, but that the measurement results are "dominated by materials that are mainly spectrally active and capable of expressing absorption bands at certain wavelengths." and "fishes of the net." "That's why we have to get down to the surface to find him."
In fact, as early as 2008, scientists began working on a foreground for Ceres's next research mission. The proposed mission, Ceres Polar Lander, plans to send an orbiter-lander combination to Ceres and place it in clues that will bring the land into the Arctic Arctic. The mission is to use NASA's soft landing technology to prepare for landing on Mars. Europe Thales Alenia Aviation and the research team at the University of Nantes in France presented the mission concept in the European Planetary Science Conference.
There is currently no ground agency planning to send new missions to Ceres, but this may change as "Dawn" has already retired. However, Schenck said that any Ceres reconnaissance mission proposed by NASA must be revised after a long review. At the same time, scientists need to have a large amount of data from "Dawn". "We're just starting to understand Ceres, it takes some time. To understand what we see."