2014
DOI: 10.1038/nature12918
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Localized sources of water vapour on the dwarf planet (1) Ceres

Abstract: The 'snowline' conventionally divides Solar System objects into dry bodies, ranging out to the main asteroid belt, and icy bodies beyond the belt. Models suggest that some of the icy bodies may have migrated into the asteroid belt. Recent observations indicate the presence of water ice on the surface of some asteroids, with sublimation a potential reason for the dust activity observed on others. Hydrated minerals have been found on the surface of the largest object in the asteroid belt, the dwarf planet (1) Ce… Show more

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Cited by 277 publications
(323 citation statements)
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“…Bauer et al 2011;Reach et al 2013). Recently, Herschel heterodyne spectroscopy of the largest object in the Main Belt, (1) Ceres, has revealed the presence of water vapor as the dwarf planet approached perihelion (Küppers et al 2014). The water vapor line was detected at three separate epochs at 557 GHz (λ = 540µm), further illustrating that the distinction between dark asteroids and comets is sometimes blurred (Briani et al 2011).…”
Section: Mid-ir Spectroscopy Of Asteroidsmentioning
confidence: 99%
“…Bauer et al 2011;Reach et al 2013). Recently, Herschel heterodyne spectroscopy of the largest object in the Main Belt, (1) Ceres, has revealed the presence of water vapor as the dwarf planet approached perihelion (Küppers et al 2014). The water vapor line was detected at three separate epochs at 557 GHz (λ = 540µm), further illustrating that the distinction between dark asteroids and comets is sometimes blurred (Briani et al 2011).…”
Section: Mid-ir Spectroscopy Of Asteroidsmentioning
confidence: 99%
“…for Ceres (Küppers et al 2014), assuming a Bond albedo of 0.034 and a thermal emissivity of 0.9, the pure water ice sublimation model (Cowan & A'Hearn 1979) suggests an active area of 0.2 km 2 for a slow rotator case where the surface is at instantaneous thermal equilibrium with local solar insolation at the latitude of Occator (∼20°). The low thermal inertia of Ceres of <15 J m −2 s −0.5 K −1 (Chamberlain et al 2009) justifies the slow rotator assumption.…”
Section: Discussionmentioning
confidence: 99%
“…The compositional analysis reveals that these bright spots are likely made up of a mixture of water ice, salts, and dark background material, suggesting a briny subsurface source. Bright spots within impact craters Dantu (125 km) and Occator (92 km) have been linked to intermittent and localized water vapor sources observed by the Herschel Space Observatory in 2011-2013 (Küppers et al 2014), and are, therefore, possibly related to the sublimation activity. Recent ground-based observations of Ceres also suggested short-term global spectral variability that was attributed to the changing amount of water ice on the surface (Perna et al 2015).…”
Section: Introductionmentioning
confidence: 99%
“…Detection of sublimation or even ice on a MBC observed to exhibit visible dust emission is challenging due to the faintness of both MBCs and their associated activity, and the difficulty of scheduling observations at times of peak activity when the chances of detecting sublimation are maximized. Water vapor has been detected from dwarf planet (1) Ceres (Küppers et al 2014) and surface ice has been detected on large main-belt asteroids (24) Themis and (90) Antiope (Rivkin & Emery 2010;Campins et al 2010;Hargrove et al 2015), but these objects are much larger (diameters of D > 100 km) and brighter than any of the km-scale MBCs, and visible dust emission has never been observed for any of them. Meanwhile, the point of peak activity is impossible to immediately determine for newly discovered MBCs, meaning that deep spectroscopic observations of a new MBC can easily be conducted too early or too late.…”
Section: Main-belt Cometsmentioning
confidence: 99%