From: Georgia Institute of Technology
Published April 18, 2017 11:00 AM

Landslides on Ceres Reflect Hidden Ice

Massive landslides, similar to those found on Earth, are occurring on the asteroid Ceres. That’s according to a new study led by the Georgia Institute of Technology, adding to the growing evidence that Ceres retains a significant amount of water ice.

The study is published in the journal Nature Geoscience. It used data from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft to identify three different types of landslides, or flow features, on the Texas-sized asteroid.

Type I are relatively round, large and have thick "toes" at their ends. They look similar to rock glaciers and icy landslides in Earth’s arctic. Type I landslides are mostly found at high latitudes, which is also where the most ice is thought to reside near Ceres' surface.

Type II features are the most common of Ceres’ landslides and look similar to deposits left by avalanches on Earth. They are thinner and longer than Type I and found at mid-latitudes. The authors affectionately call one such Type II landslide "Bart" because of its resemblance to the elongated head of Bart Simpson from TV's "The Simpsons."

Read more at Georgia Institute of Technology

Image: Type I landslides on Ceres are relatively round, large and have thick 'toes' at their ends. They look similar to rock glaciers and icy landslides in Earth's arctic. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA, taken by Dawn Framing Camera)

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