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Bright carbonate deposits as evidence of aqueous alteration on (1) Ceres

De Sanctis, M. C. and Ehlmann, B. L. (2016) Bright carbonate deposits as evidence of aqueous alteration on (1) Ceres. Nature, 536 (7614). pp. 54-57. ISSN 0028-0836. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20160706-083621785

[img] Image (JPEG) (Extended Data Figure 1: Occator floor spectrum) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Image (JPEG) (Extended Data Figure 2: Spectral fit with hexahydrite) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Image (JPEG) (Extended Data Figure 3: Spectral fit with water ice) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Image (JPEG) (Extended Data Figure 4: Comparison of Occator bright material spectrum with carbonates) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Image (JPEG) (Extended Data Figure 5: Comparison of Occator bright material spectrum with carbonaceous chondrites) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Image (JPEG) (Extended Data Figure 6: Spectra of candidate materials fitting the observed 2.20–2.22-μm absorption in Occator bright materials) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Image (JPEG) (Extended Data Figure 7: Spectral fit without NH4 salt) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Image (JPEG) (Extended Data Table 1: End-members used in evaluating mixing model results) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Image (JPEG) (Extended Data Table 2: Combination of end-members used to produce the best fit) - Supplemental Material
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Abstract

The typically dark surface of the dwarf planet Ceres is punctuated by areas of much higher albedo, most prominently in the Occator crater. These small bright areas have been tentatively interpreted as containing a large amount of hydrated magnesium sulfate, in contrast to the average surface, which is a mixture of low-albedo materials and magnesium phyllosilicates, ammoniated phyllosilicates and carbonates. Here we report high spatial and spectral resolution near-infrared observations of the bright areas in the Occator crater on Ceres. Spectra of these bright areas are consistent with a large amount of sodium carbonate, constituting the most concentrated known extraterrestrial occurrence of carbonate on kilometre-wide scales in the Solar System. The carbonates are mixed with a dark component and small amounts of phyllosilicates, as well as ammonium carbonate or ammonium chloride. Some of these compounds have also been detected in the plume of Saturn’s sixth-largest moon Enceladus. The compounds are endogenous and we propose that they are the solid residue of crystallization of brines and entrained altered solids that reached the surface from below. The heat source may have been transient (triggered by impact heating). Alternatively, internal temperatures may be above the eutectic temperature of subsurface brines, in which case fluids may exist at depth on Ceres today.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature18290DOIArticle
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v536/n7614/full/nature18290.htmlPublisherArticle
http://rdcu.be/jbsmPublisherFree ReadCube access
https://pds-smallbodies.astro.umd.eduOrganizationPDS Small Bodies Node
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Ehlmann, B. L.0000-0002-2745-3240
Additional Information:© 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited. Received 15 February 2016; Accepted 25 April 2016; Published online 29 June 2016. We thank the following institutions and agencies which supported this work: the Italian Space Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA, USA) and the Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR, Germany). The VIR was funded and coordinated by the Italian Space Agency and built by SELEX ES, with the scientific leadership of the Institute for Space Astrophysics and Planetology and the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics, and is operated by the Institute for Space Astrophysics and Planetology, Italy. A portion of this work was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, USA, under contract to NASA. We also thank the Dawn Mission Operations team and the Framing Camera team. Author Contributions: M.C.D.S., A.R., E.A. and F.G.C. performed data analysis and calibration. M.C. provided optical constants from reflectance spectra. M.C.D.S., C.M.P. and B.L.E. contributed to the spectral interpretation of the data. All authors contributed to the discussion of the results and to writing the paper. The authors declare no competing financial interests. The VIR calibrated data will be made available through the PDS Small Bodies Node website (http://sbn.pds.nasa.gov/). Reviewer Information Nature thanks V. Reddy, A. S. Rivkin and M. M. Zolotov for their contribution to the peer review of this work.
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI)UNSPECIFIED
Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)UNSPECIFIED
Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF)UNSPECIFIED
Institute for Space Astrophysics and PlanetologyUNSPECIFIED
NASA/JPL/CaltechUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160706-083621785
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20160706-083621785
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:68847
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:06 Jul 2016 21:44
Last Modified:03 Jun 2017 00:06

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