New Truths: Ceres

by ewoodley on January 29, 2014 - 5:00pm

In a BBC article published on January 22nd, Jonathan Amos discusses new findings in the scientific journal “Nature”. The asteroid Ceres has been discovered to spew water vapour into space. Relatively little is known about the dwarf planet, but a 2013 study using the Herschel telescope revealed that 6kg of water vapour is emitted from the surface of Ceres every second.

The European Space Agency hypothesizes that there is an energy source in the centre of Ceres, which allows for the water to be blasted into space. Other scientists believe that ice on the surface of the planet is being warmed by the sun and transforming directly into gas. Either way, an American probe set to reach Ceres in 2015 will help to clarify the source of these geyser-like excretions.

Ceres is considered a “primitive body”, in that it has not been subject to the same extreme heat as most objects in the Asteroid Belt. However, these new findings encourage new hypotheses about the formation of the dwarf planet, including one theory that it was formed far away from its current location and has, in fact, migrated to be there. The Correspondence and Coherence Theories of Truth are therefore challenged, as new information about Ceres’ origins and structure arises. The Correspondence Theory of Truth focuses on reality and physical observations. In order to be considered a “truth” something must be incontestably proven. New information and observations that have no proven explanation mean that this theory is nullified. Until concrete evidence about Ceres is proven, there can be no correspondent truth. The Coherence Theory, on the other hand, accords truth to situations that are the coherent norm. If a piece of information is agreed upon by all contemporary sources, then it is considered truth. The Coherence Theory is therefore challenged, but will use this new discovery, along with the old, to piece together a new truth about Ceres. Truth, even about structures aging billions of years, is an every-varying concept.


Works Cited

Amos, Jonathan.  “Ceres Asteroid Vents Water Vapour.”  BBC News: Science and Environment.  22 Jan. 2014.  Web.