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European spacecraft detects water vapor around Ceres
Posted: Thu, Jan 23, 2014, 8:40 AM ET (1340 GMT)
Ceres water vapor illustration (ESA) Astronomers analyzing data from a European space telescope say they have discovered water vapor in the vicinity of the dwarf planet Ceres. European scientists said observations of Ceres by the infrared space telescope Herschel detected water vapor in the vicinity of the world, the largest body in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Astronomers said the water vapor appeared to be emanating from just two locations on Ceres's surface that are slightly darker and warmer than the rest of the surface. Scientists said they didn't know if water vapor came from the sublimation of ice located near the surface or deeper inside the dwarf planet. NASA's Dawn spacecraft will study these regions in further detail when it enters orbit around Ceres early next year.
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