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Science. 2016 Sep 2;353(6303). pii: aaf4279. Epub 2016 Sep 1.

Distribution of phyllosilicates on the surface of Ceres.

Author information

1
Earth Planetary and Space Sciences, University of California-Los Angeles, 603 Charles Young Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1567, USA. eleonora.ammannito@igpp.ucla.edu.
2
Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali, Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, 00133 Roma, Italy.
3
The Bear Fight Institute, Winthrop, WA 98862, USA.
4
Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA.
5
Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, CO 80302, USA.
6
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996-1410, USA.
7
Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (UMR 5277), Université de Toulouse, F-31400 Toulouse, France.
8
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA.
9
Institute of Planetary Research, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, 12489 Berlin, Germany.
10
Earth Planetary and Space Sciences, University of California-Los Angeles, 603 Charles Young Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1567, USA.
11
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA.
12
Department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, USA.
13
Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, TX 77058, USA.

Abstract

The dwarf planet Ceres is known to host phyllosilicate minerals at its surface, but their distribution and origin have not previously been determined. We used the spectrometer onboard the Dawn spacecraft to map their spatial distribution on the basis of diagnostic absorption features in the visible and near-infrared spectral range (0.25 to 5.0 micrometers). We found that magnesium- and ammonium-bearing minerals are ubiquitous across the surface. Variations in the strength of the absorption features are spatially correlated and indicate considerable variability in the relative abundance of the phyllosilicates, although their composition is fairly uniform. These data, along with the distinctive spectral properties of Ceres relative to other asteroids and carbonaceous meteorites, indicate that the phyllosilicates were formed endogenously by a globally widespread and extensive alteration process.

PMID:
27701086
DOI:
10.1126/science.aaf4279

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