Giant asteroid lets off steam

by dlacroix2 on January 29, 2014 - 4:29pm

This article talks about Ceres, a large asteroid which is technically a dwarf planet, which gives off large amounts of water vapour into space. Ceres measures 950km across, and is located 2.7 AU away from the sun in the asteroid belt. Ceres has been seen releasing a large amount of water vapour, around 21 tonnes of it every hour. A planetary scientist named Michael Küppers suggested that asteroids along with comets might be responsible for the source of water on Earth. The vapour expelled from Ceres is largely lost in space, with only around 20% falling back on Ceres.

Truth as correspondence means, for a statement to be true it must relates to something in reality that actually exists. Truth as coherence means that for a statement to be true it has to cohere with multiple other beliefs. In the article correspondence relates to the asteroid Ceres and how it gives off water vapour. The vapour is created by either the warmth of the sun heating up the ice beneath the surface or by a form of volcanic activity from inside the asteroid pushing the water outward. It coheres with other truths that have been previously observed such when the scientists watched Ceres for 2.5 hours for two days in October 2011, and for 10 hours in March 2013. Both previous viewings showed that heat was coming off the asteroid’s surface and had eruptions of water vapour.

The interesting thing I found about this article was the aspect of where Earth’s water came from. We simply assume that it popped up with the formation of the planet. But, it is possible that because of multiple icy celestial bodies crashed on Earth creating craters that are the depth of the ocean along with the ice melting creating water. If Ceres releases 21 tonnes of water vapour an hour, multiple asteroids crashing on Earth in the past could have easily filled the ocean with water.

The orginal article can be found here:

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/jan/22/giant-asteroid-steam-ceres

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