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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Ceres

What are those bright spots on the surface of Ceres? 
Oh, I know! Aliens! Or possibly Flash Gordon.
Space probe Dawn arrived at Ceres last Friday, which is what got me started on the whole space probe thing. Ceres is the largest lump of rock in the asteroid belt. It's about 600 miles in diameter, which means its gravity is only about 3% of what we have here at home. Jump hard and you probably won't come down. NASA put Dawn in orbit around Ceres, which means it must be moving dead slow.
    Ceres played a prominent role in Science Fiction story I read about a zillion years ago. The rebels (or the enemy faction, I can't recall exactly) had their headquarters on Ceres. They had surrounded the rock with a multitude of smaller rocks, which they had placed all in different orbits. The idea was only those who knew the plan would be able to negotiate a path through these hurtling asteroids to the surface. Kept the riff-raff away.

1 comment:

Ole Phat Stu said...

Escape velocity for Ceres is a half a km per sec, (Earth its 11 km/sec), so you can't leave just by jumping off :-)