Sarah Fecht
at 08:20 AM Feb 27 2015
Space // 

You can't trick us, Ceres. Out there in the asteroid belt, in the dark space between Mars and Jupiter, you've been keeping secrets. Scientists thought your shiny white spot was probably some kind of ice or a glassy deposit from a volcanic eruption. Others said Death Star. Now it turns out your one spot is actually two, and that's supposed to convince us Ceres is harmless? Riiight, nice try. We know the truth -- that you've only just begun to fire up your planet-destroying multi-beam superlaser.

Loren Grush
at 08:30 AM Feb 6 2015
Space // 

NASA's Dawn spacecraft is about to get up, close, and personal with Ceres, a dwarf planet that's been lurking in the asteroid belt. As it approaches, Dawn has been snapping some amazing images of the rock, and it just took some of its highest-resolution photographs yet.

at 20:33 PM Jan 27 2015
Space // 

While NASA's Dawn mission is hot on the tail of the biggest rock in the asteroid belt, researchers are still finding new things within the treasure trove of data the spacecraft collected in 2011 and 2012. Back then Dawn was visiting Vesta, the second-largest object in the asteroid belt, which scientists thought would be bone-dry.

at 12:02 PM Jan 26 2015

While the world awaits the first visit of Pluto this July, another space mission will reach a strange world much closer to home. And months sooner.

Colin Lecher
at 04:51 AM Jan 23 2014
Science // 

This is poor, unfortunateCeres. Discovered in 1801, it was at first called a planet, then soon classified as an asteroid, and recently as a dwarf planet, not quite qualifying for real planet status despite residing in the solar system's asteroid belt. But now it can feelspecial: the Herschel Telescope has, the for the first time, detected water on the lil' planet - probably a whole lot of it, too.

at 04:26 AM Nov 8 2013
Science // 

Weird things are afoot in the asteroid belt, located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. A newly identified asteroid called P/2013 P5 is posing as a comet, with not one but six dust tails trailing behind it.

Rebecca Boyle
at 07:31 AM Mar 27 2013
Science // 

About 4 billion years ago, something caused Jupiter and the other gas giant planets to shift in their orbits, shoving countless space rocks out of their positions in the asteroid belt. Tugged inward by the sun, these asteroids migrated toward Earth and the moon, ultimately bombarding our young planet and its satellite.

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