2019 June 16
Unusual Mountain Ahuna Mons on Asteroid Ceres
What created this unusual mountain?
There is a new theory.
is the largest mountain on the largest known asteroid in
our Solar System,
which orbits our Sun in the
main asteroid belt between
Ahuna Mons, though, is
like nothing that humanity has ever seen before.
For one thing, its slopes are garnished not with
but young vertical streaks.
new hypothesis, based on numerous gravity measurements, holds that a bubble of mud rose from deep within the
dwarf planet and
the icy surface at a weak point rich in
reflective salt -- and then froze.
The bright streaks are thought to be similar to
other recently surfaced material such as visible in
Ceres' famous bright spots.
The featured double-height digital image was constructed from
surface maps taken of Ceres in 2016 by the
robotic Dawn mission.
Successfully completing its mission in 2018,
Dawn continues to orbit Ceres even though it has exhausted the fuel needed to keep its antennas pointed toward