It’s ‘baffled scientists’ time again, but now they want the public to help them out, reports phys.org
Throwing open the doors to the hallowed halls of science, stumped researchers welcomed help from the public Wednesday in solving a number of nagging mysteries about dwarf planet Ceres.
NASA’s space probe Dawn, which travelled seven-and-a-half years and some 4.9 billion kilometres to reach Ceres in March this year, is the first to orbit a dwarf planet.The probe is seeking to learn more about the structure of Ceres, which circles the Sun between Mars and Jupiter, in a bid to better understand the formation of Earth and other planets.
But many of the features of Ceres have left researchers scratching their heads — including a six-kilometre (four-mile) high protrusion they have dubbed “Lonely Mountain”.
Or you could sit back and wait until the space probe nears Ceres and gets better pictures:
Scientists hope to learn more when Dawn moves in closer — starting in October and into December — as the spacecraft will descend to its lowest and final orbit at an altitude 375 kilometres.
The probe will continue capturing images of Ceres and collecting higher-resolution data. It is due to stay in operation to mid-2016.
Full report: Layman help sought in solving dwarf planet mysteries