As the NASA Spacecraft, Dawn, creeps up on the mysterious dwarf-planet, Ceres, the bizarre lights that some have suggested show evidence of being an “Alien Space Station” continue to “puzzle” those close to the NASA Ceres exploration program.
New photos taken by the Dawn spacecraft as it drifts in to orbit Ceres have shed new light on the baffling illuminations shining up from the surface of Ceres, reports Space, but confirming the source of the Ceres lights is still a work in progress.
“We already knew from the Hubble Space Telescope that there were bright regions on Ceres,” NASA Dawn spacecraft investigator, Chris Russell of UCLA, said in a statement on NASA Science, Friday.
“However, those images of the bright spots, taken more than 180 million miles away, appear to be large. As Dawn has come closer to Ceres, the bright spots have become brighter and smaller. Indeed, they are much brighter than the surrounding landscape and still unresolved in our images… The point of origin must be very small.”
Russell went on to explain the strange lights on Ceres, and their small point of origin, using fractals, an image or pattern that appears “self-similar” regardless of scale.
“Another way to express this is with fractals. Most of the planetary surfaces we see are cratered in a random pattern. When you get closer, just as with fractals, the surface looks the same regardless of scale. However, the bright spot is telling us that there is a phenomenon that acts on a very small scale and NOT at the larger scale of the cratering… And since I don’t have a clue what this is, I am puzzled.”
Ceres floats within the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, and — large enough to be considered a “dwarf planet” — Ceres is also the largest body among the asteroids, according to Ars Technica.
Though the dazzling lights on Ceres remain a mystery, and possibly signs of an “Alien Space Station,” some alternative speculations for the source of the Ceres lights include ice reflections, volcanic eruptions, or reflections off some other types of minerals that have been found on other asteroids.
At the same time, the Ceres lights remain an enigma, and NASA officials, space aficionados, and UFO enthusiasts are on the edge of their seats waiting to see what else the Dawn spacecraft might be able to reveal as she orbits Ceres.
“As we slowly approach the stage, our eyes transfixed on Ceres and her planetary dance, we find she has beguiled us but left us none the wiser,” said Russell. “We expected to be surprised. We did not expect to be this puzzled.”
[Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA]