Video

Water in the shadows

  • Subscribe to Nature Astronomy for full access:

    $99

    Subscribe

Additional access options:

Already a subscriber?  Log in  now or  Register  for online access.

In this video we visit some of the coldest, darkest places in our Solar System: craters in the polar regions of Ceres. Ceres is the largest asteroid in the asteroid belt. New images, taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft, reveal water ice trapped in a few of these craters, where the Sun never shines. Ceres is now the third planetary body, after the Moon and Mercury, where water ice has been detected in permanently shadowed areas. By understanding the water ice spotted on Ceres, scientists hope to learn more about water on the Moon and other bodies that don't have an atmosphere — enabling us, one day, to establish a permanent lunar base.