It's remarkable to think that NASA's Dawn probe arrived at the dwarf planet Ceres, just a few days ago.
Quite a journey indeed.
7.5 years and 4.9 million kilometers travelled.
Even though Ceres was originally discovered around 1801, and it was actually named a planet at that time
it has since been demoted to a dwarf planet.
Just like poor old Pluto. :(
Very little is known about Ceres, but that is going to change in the next 16 months of so, as the probe
studies the surface and maps the planet.
It's estimated that about 25 to 30 percent of the dwarf planet is water.
Below the surface.
An underground ocean if you will.
A study of planetary geology will also take place.
This is truly fascinating stuff.
We are fortunate to live in such exciting times, when research and discovery continues to take place
on a regular basis, and the advancement of science will continue to answer many unanswered questions.
It was some ancient philosopher who said thousands of years ago: "May you live in exciting times|".
This must have been what he was talking about.
Either that, or someone made it up for as a note to put in a fortune cookie.
PS One of my favorite planetary telescopes is on sale right now. It's optical design and high resolution makes it ideal for studying the planets. Check it out here. http://khanscope.com/productdetails.cfm?productID=4177