Thursday, March 31, 2016

Looking at Ceres

At last week's Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, I enjoyed a large number of talks about Ceres, which Dawn is now orbiting at an altitude of merely 385 kilometers. Several sessions worth of talks considered a wealth of new data that has been acquired since the last time I attended scientific sessions on Dawn, at lower altitudes and hence more detail. All that freshly acquired data made for talks bursting with pretty pictures and data but relatively thin on interpretation and with little coordination (yet) across data sets, which makes them a bit hard to summarize briefly. Deputy principal investigator Carol Raymond summed the situation up well at the press briefing: "Clearly, we have a lot of work to do to put together a self-consistent story among all these different data sets."

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