Zooming in on the mysterious white spot on Ceres


Looks like it's some kind of volcano poop, but NASA's still hedging its bets.

The latest images from Dawn reveal surface features as small as 450 feet across. The two bright spots are now resolved into one very bright area near the center of a crater known as Occator with about eight smaller concentrations to one side surrounding an area where the deposits appear more spread out. …

"Although our data are now of higher resolution, we're still missing key pieces of information that we really need to know the whole picture," Carol Raymond, the Dawn deputy principal investigator, told CBS News.

"Essentially, the important information we're missing is the detailed chemistry of these deposits. We won't know that until we complete the spectral mapping and have fully analyzed those data. Then, as we get much closer to the surface, we'll be able to better resolve at the level of these individual deposits and assess whether these bright materials are all the same or are there different flavors of the constituents?"