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  • Jhanvi Shroff

Ceres: The Dwarf Planet That Could Become Our Planet

The power of Science is that it can change life as we know it in mere minutes. Humankind has been fascinated by the possibility of extraterrestrial life since we ventured out to space. We've searched far and wide but maybe the best sign of life was right beside us all along.

Ceres is the sole dwarf planet in the asteroid belt and the nearest to the Sun. It is also the smallest of the five dwarf planets, nevertheless, it has a significant amount of water ice, organic molecules, and possibly a deep ocean. Ceres is an intriguing planet for the hunt for life beyond Earth because of these characteristics.

From 2015 to 2018, NASA's Dawn probe studied Ceres and produced numerous remarkable findings. In multiple places, it discovered bright streaks of exposed water ice on the surface, a thin water vapour atmosphere, and organic molecules. These molecules are necessary for life as we know it, yet their origins and composition remain unknown.

These studies suggest that Ceres may harbour the conditions for life to emerge or exist. Some scientists believe Ceres may harbour microbial life in its subterranean ocean, or that it may have formerly been a source of organic material for Earth and other worlds.

Many people question space exploration and search for life as squandering away resources that could be used to better the earth. Though travelling to Ceres is expensive - will it not be worth the multitude of the cost if we find life?

Needless to say, these are merely theories that will need to be tested through additional research and analysis. Ceres remains a strange world full of secrets and surprises. But, in my opinion, Ceres is more than simply a boring lump of rock and ice in the asteroid belt. It's one of the promising candidates for life beyond Earth.

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