here it comes, here it goes. Lately again a lot of stuff about Ceres appeared. It is because Dawn which is the satellite that we send there is actually lowering its orbit and it is getting new information about Ceres`s bright spots.
So Ceres is a dwarf planet between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt. It seems that Phil Plait is not agreeing with me on the first one.
It’s descriptive, and way better than “dwarf planet”, which in my opinion doesn’t make much sense. I still don’t think the word “planet” can be rigorously defined, but as a fuzzy category with adjectival prefixes it has its uses. – Phil Plait
And he is saying that scientists call it protoplanet so I will probably go for it.
So you can see this protoplanet on the right picture. At middle of the picture you should wonder what are those bright spots there?
Well it could seem that it is just a lighter piece of rock and it is not very interesting when compared to other stuff but actually it is pretty cool!
Nature published study talking about the bright spots of Ceres. In different wavelengths Dawn took good photos of these spots and send them to NASA. Now it seems that it is salt. Nobody knew for sure for a long time. On this page NASA has quiz for guessing what are the bright spots. Right after you click some of the options you will see that not many people voted for salt deposit. It is not so cool as ice probably.
Actually it seems that ice is very bad option since it is too hot on the sun lighted side of Ceres to keep any water ice.
It is assumed that this salt rose from the inside of planet and was left because water evaporated.
Btw. once on YouTube I saw video saying that those spots are actually tops of alien towers.
Picture is from Czech Wikipedia Ceres page