USA Today: Mysterious White Spot on Dwarf Planet Explained

usatodayUSA Today featured UT’s Joshua Emery in a story about a mysterious bright spot that appeared on the dwarf planet Ceres. Researchers, in a recent Nature study, suggest the spot is Epsom salts. Analysis of the ingredients that make up the spot suggest it might be composed of other materials.

The case for an icy haze also needs bolstering, Emery told the newspaper, noting that he’s intrigued by the second study’s proposals for the formation of Ceres and potentially other asteroids. Those scenarios “would be a completely different view of the origin and evolution of asteroids than we ever considered before,” he said. “For scientists studying the solar system, that’s a really big deal.” Continue reading online.

MSN and WMAZ News 13 also featured the story.

Emery is an assistant professor of earth and planetary sciences and an expert in astronomy, particularly that of our own solar system.