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Title: SURFACE ALBEDO AND SPECTRAL VARIABILITY OF CERES

Previous observations suggested that Ceres has active, but possibly sporadic, water outgassing as well as possibly varying spectral characteristics over a timescale of months. We used all available data of Ceres collected in the past three decades from the ground and the Hubble Space Telescope, as well as the newly acquired images by the Dawn  Framing Camera, to search for spectral and albedo variability on Ceres, on both a global scale and in local regions, particularly the bright spots inside the Occator crater, over timescales of a few months to decades. Our analysis has placed an upper limit on the possible temporal albedo variation on Ceres. Sporadic water vapor venting, or any possibly ongoing activity on Ceres, is not significant enough to change the albedo or the area of the bright features in the Occator crater by >15%, or the global albedo by >3% over the various timescales that we searched. Recently reported spectral slope variations can be explained by changing Sun–Ceres–Earth geometry. The active area on Ceres is less than 1 km{sup 2}, too small to cause global albedo and spectral variations detectable in our data. Impact ejecta due to impacting projectiles of tens of meters in size likemore » those known to cause observable changes to the surface albedo on Asteroid Scheila cannot cause detectable albedo change on Ceres due to its relatively large size and strong gravity. The water vapor activity on Ceres is independent of Ceres’ heliocentric distance, ruling out the possibility of the comet-like sublimation process as a possible mechanism driving the activity.« less
Authors:
; ; ; ;  [1] ; ; ;  [2] ; ;  [3] ; ; ; ; ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [7] ;  [8] ;  [9] more »; « less
  1. Planetary Science Institute, 1700 E. Ft. Lowell Road, Suite 106, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States)
  2. Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Göttingen (Germany)
  3. University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada)
  4. German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Planetary Research, Berlin (Germany)
  5. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States)
  6. Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, TX 77058 (United States)
  7. School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287 (United States)
  8. Solar System Exploration Division, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States)
  9. Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22518623
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal Letters; Journal Volume: 817; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ALBEDO; ASTEROIDS; CAMERAS; COMETS; CRATERS; DEGASSING; GRAVITATION; IMAGE PROCESSING; PLANETS; SPACE; SPACE VEHICLES; SUBLIMATION; SUN; SURFACES; TELESCOPES; VARIATIONS; WATER; WATER VAPOR