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Ceres Camouflage

22 January 2017

Asteroids might be camouflaged, we are told. I can't think they mean anything like tieing pieces of plastic to nets in order to camouflage tents, equipment and vehicles. This is a different kind of camouflage mechanism – go to https://phys.org/print404113882.html … where we learn this is about the dusty dry layer found on cosmic bodies such as small planets and asteroids. They appear to be covered with material with an origin beyond the asteroids and small planets – space dust perhaps. It's a bit like the addition or deletion of glacial till and drift from geological maps. In this instance Ceres is the subject in hand and refers back to the recent space mission – or flying visit. The actual surface of Ceres was obscured by a coating of dust and debris – a  bit like our moon for example.

    … However, from the image it is clear that this amounts to more than lunar rigolith. It is virtually the crust of Ceres that is said to be a camouflage, and the surface is really the equivalent of the earth's mantle – but is that really what they are talking about as hey go on to say a layer of fine particles of a dry silicate, pyroxene, is the camouflage ingredient and beneath this lies the carbonate and water ice indicated by instruments onboard the spacecraft. It is almost as if they are comparing this asteroid with a defunct comet.

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