American planetologists continue to study an unusual space object – the dwarf planet Ceres closest to the Sun. This time, the specialists studied its axis of rotation.
Recall that Ceres was discovered at the very beginning of the XIX century, and it was discovered not by chance – astronomers have long assumed that there should be another planet between Mars and Jupiter. And so it happened: in January 1801, the Italian astronomer Giuseppe Piazzi made a discovery at the Palermo Astronomical Observatory.
According to the authors of the new work, the axis of rotation of Ceres was once located differently, and then some event noticeably shifted it. Moreover, it is likely that this did not happen immediately, but in several stages.
For some time, the bark of Ceres moved faster than the core and mantle. Apparently, this means that they were not rigidly connected. The most logical assumption that immediately comes to mind that once upon a time there also existed a subsurface ocean on Ceres, similar to the one that probably exists now in Europe, the planetologists explained.
As it turned out, the rotation axis of Ceres used to be located differently and shifted by about 36 degrees.
Little is known about the past of this planet, but over the past few there are no experts who have conducted several studies that told about the structure and formation of Ceres.
For example, in 2013, scientists investigated the gravitational field of the planet and discovered the anomalous density distribution of its rocks, following the equator line at the time of the formation of a celestial body.
And recently it became known that cryovolcanism is still continuing on the planet, the source of which is not known.