Astronomers have spotted water plumes on dwarf planet Ceres

We've observed water on Ceres. The largest object in the asteroid belt, you may remember Ceres as the round, rock-ice body that was considered for reclassification as a planet in the midst of Pluto's demotion. Astronomers observed the water in the form of vapor plumes, possibly issuing from volcano-like geysers on… » 1/22/14 6:00pm 1/22/14 6:00pm

Could giant asteroid Vesta actually be a planet?

For years, scientists have been calling Vesta an asteroid. Granted, it's a big asteroid — at 330 miles across, it's the second biggest in the solar system — but NASA's Dawn spacecraft recently got its closest look at Vesta yet, and according to Dawn's principle investigator Christopher Russel, astronomers have been… » 3/23/12 1:15pm 3/23/12 1:15pm

In Escape from Terra, a libertarian utopia grows on Ceres

Should we tax the asteroid belt? In the future, the dwarf planet Ceres has attracted ruggedly individualist settlers who set up an anarchist paradise. When two Terran tax agents show up and to bring Ceres into the universal government, the Ceresians must try to win the tax agents to their side, or risk war with Earth. » 11/19/11 10:00am 11/19/11 10:00am

Asteroids are making Earth's weather unpredictable

Ceres and Vesta are two of the largest asteroids in the Belt, and their power extends far beyond the band of rocks they inhabit between Jupiter and Mars. Astronomers have discovered that these asteroids' gravitational effects introduced "strong chaos" into the Earth's orbit, making it impossible to know the exact… » 7/18/11 8:00am 7/18/11 8:00am