Page creator: Kendall Doyle
Edited by: Dillon Maples
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Overview:
Ceres was discovered on the very first day of the year 1801 by an Italian monk named Guiseppe Piazzi. He saw a faint object through his telescope and observed it for 41 days before Ceres disappeared into the halo of the sun where it was no longer observable. The newly found planet was thought to be lost, for astronomers had a lot of trouble trying to plot out an orbit from only 41 observations. It took a mathematician named Carl Friedrich Gauss to find it again. From only three observations, Gauss was able to successfully predict where and when Ceres would be found again. Little did they know, Ceres actually was not a planet, but the first asteroid ever discovered. It was originally thought to be a planet because of it's massive size, and it had a strong enough gravitational force to become round over time. This puts it in the category of a Dwarf Planet, though of the dwarf planets, it is the smallest. Just under 1,000 km in diameter. So is it a dwarf planet or an asteroid? It is both. Ceres resides in the main asteroid belt, and orbits the sun. It is by far the largest body in the main asteroid belt. Pictures of Ceres by the [[#|Hubble Telescope]] however hint at a low topograpghy. It lacks deep bowl shaped craters. And you would think being in the main asteroid belt that Ceres would be covered in large craters. Scientists believe that the craters are there, but just relaxed, or eroded over time, becoming less visible from afar. As you can see in the picture, Ceres appears brownish grey in color. Ceres has a rocky core, an icy watery mantle, thought to also contain ammonia, and a thin dusty crust. Ceres mass is = 9.43 ± 0.07×10 times 10^20 kg, and it's density is = 2.077 ± 0.036 g/cm3. Ceres does not have seasons because it's axial tilt is just 3%. The average temperature on Ceres is about 167 degrees Kelvin, or -106.15 degrees celsius at it's semi major axis, and about 203 degrees kelvin, or 34.15 degrees celsius at it's perihelion. Ceres semi major axis is about 2.7663 AU, 2.5468 AU at it's perihelion. 277 million miles away from the sun, on average. A day on Ceres is 9 hours and 6 minutes long and a year is equivalent to about 4.6 earth years. We have never been to Ceres or anywhere really close, but in 2007 the NASA space probe Dawn was launched and should reach Ceres by the year 2015. This is our first spacecraft sent to this part of the solar system and should bring us some exciting new pictures of Ceres in the year 2015.

Links


[[http://www.pagef30.com/2009/04/why-ceres-might-be-better-location-for.html]]
Title: Why Ceres might be a better location for colonization than Mars
Author: None specified
Audience: People who are interested in facts about Ceres, and colonization of planets.
Opinion of site: I believe this is a trustworthy site worth a look or two if you are interested in Ceres, and/or the colonization of planets. I found no problems with the page, or it's reliability to give factual [[#|information]]. In cross-checking with other sites i found no discrepancies. It has good pictures, including Ceres, it's orbit and talks about why Ceres would be better for colonization than Mars. Definitely worth a look!
Reviewed: 4-16-12
Entry added by: Kendall Doyle Spring 2012

[[http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov/feature_stories/extra_time_to_explore_vesta.asp]]
Title: Dawn Gets Extra Time to Explore Vesta
Author: None specified
Audience: Anyone that wants to learn about NASA's Dawn spacecraft, where it's been or where it's going.
Opinion of site: Being a government site, I would say this site is very trustworthy. After all, not just anyone can put up what the want on NASA's own website. It has a very informational article on the Dawn space mission, and has details about the mission, where the craft is currently and pictures taken from the craft. All in all, it's an awesome site full of reliable information about the Dawn space program.
Reviewed: 4-16-12
Entry added by: Kendall Doyle Spring 2012

[[http://www.keplersdiscovery.com/Asteroid.html]]
Title: The Discovery of Ceres
Author: None specified
Audience: Students, teachers, curious individuals. Those who want to know how Ceres was discovered.
Opinion of site: Good site, very informational for the topic. Plenty of pictures. Gives you an overview of how Ceres was discovered, re-discovered and the problems faced whilst trying to calculate Ceres' orbit.
Reviewed: 4-17-12
Entry added by: Kendall Doyle Spring 2012

[[http://www.universetoday.com/26587/life-on-ceres-could-the-dwarf-planet-be-the-root-of-panspermia/]]
Title: Life on Ceres: Could the Dwarf Planet be the Root of Panspernia?
Author: Ian O'Neill
Audience: Students, teachers, curious individuals. If you believe there is life on other planets this link has some interesting ideas.
Opinion of site: I feel that the information on this site is reliable, but it also includes theories. It states that if there is other life out there, Ceres may be a planet that could support life. If you are interested in the possibility of extra-terrestrial life I would suggest reading this article.
Reviewed: 4-19-12
Entry added by: Kendall Doyle Spring 2012

[[http://www.pbs.org/seeinginthedark/astronomy-topics/planets-and-pluto.html]]
Title: What's a Planet and Why is Pluto Not in the Planet Club Anymore?
Author: Andrew Fraknoi
Audience: Students, teachers, or anyone who wants to know what makes a planet a planet.
Opinion of site: This site has good information on what makes a planet a planet. I believe it is a trustable source when looking for information about planets and it has a section devoted to Ceres also. The history of how it was discovered and gives you specifics on why it is considered a dwarf planet.
Reviewed: 4-19-12
Entry added by: Kendall Doyle Spring 2012

[[http://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/StarChild/solar_system_level2/ceres.html]]
Tite: Ceres: A Dwarf Planet
Author: The Star Child Team
Audience: Students,Teachers
Opinion of site: Has a good general knowledge about the planet also has a dictionary for words you might not know
Reviewed: 12-10-12
Entry added by: Dillon Maples Fall 2012

http://www.solarviews.com/eng/ceres.htm
Title: Dwarf planet ceres
Author: Calvin J. Hamilton
Audience: Students, Teachers, General public
Opinion of site: Details about the founding of the Dwarf planets and information seen and found by the hubble telescope pictures
Reviewed: 12-10-12
Entry added by : Dillon Maples Fall 2012

http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=dawn-spacecraft-sets-sail-for-dwarf-12-09-11
Title:Dawn Spacecraft Sets Sail for Dwarf Planet Ceres
Author: John Matson
Audience: Teachers, Students
Opinion of site: short but detailed information about the space probe visits coming soon
Reviewed: 12-10-12
Entry added by : Dillon Maples Fall 2012

http://space.about.com/od/asteroids/p/ceres.htm
Title: Ceres
Author: Nick Greene
Audience: students, Teachers, or anyone wanting to know about ceres
Opinion of site: has the basic information on the planey plus links to find additonal details
Reviewed:12-10-12
Entry added by : Dillon Maples Fall 2012

http://www.thelivingmoon.com/43ancients/02files/Ceres_Dwarf_Planet.html
Title: Cosmic secrets enigmas in our solar system, new planets discovered: Ceres
Author: not given
Audience: general public , Teachers, Students
Opinion of site: good information about the founding and size of ceres and also talks about a book that is about the dwarf planet
Reviewed: 12-10-12
Entry added by : Dillon Maples Fall 2012