Apr 19, 2017 07:07 PM EDT
The massive landslide occurred in Ceres, revealing a significant amount of ice on the surface of the asteroid. The latest study from Georgia Institute of Technology has shown the existence of water in the asteroids.
In its official news release, Georgia Tech explained that its news study shows that Ceres retains a significant amount of water. The existence of water is revealed during the landslides occurred on the asteroids. Using the data from the NASA Dawn spacecraft, the researchers has found three type of landslides on Ceres.
The first type of landslide is similar to rock glaciers and icy landslides in Earth’s arctic. This type I are found at the high latitudes of the Ceres surface, where most of the ice resides.
The second one is the most common and similar to the avalanches on Earth, which took shape of the head of Bart Simpson's cartoon character. This type II landslide is commonly found at the mid-latitudes. While the last one, type III landslide usually occurred at low latitudes of Ceres.
"Landslides cover more area in the poles than at the equator," Georgia Tech Assistant Professor and Dawn Science Team Associate Britney Schmidt said about the Ceres landslide. "But most surface processes generally don’t care about latitude.”
Schmidt is the faculty member in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. She led the study of the Ceres landslide and the recent founding suggests the asteroid's subsurface consist of the mixture of rock and ice. The study from Georgia Tech has been published in the Nature GeoScience.
NASA Dawn Spacecraft entered the orbit of Ceres in March 2015 and started to take a close picture of the surface. The photos from the robotic spacecraft were used by the Georgia Institute of Technology to identify the land movement on the surface. Watch the recent study of Ceres from the Georgia Tech below: