Earlier this year, NASA's Dawn mission finally entered into Ceres' orbit. Since then, the dwarf planet has offered nothing but mysteries, the latest of which is a three-mile-high pyramid on Ceres' surface.
The mission's principal investigator, Christopher Russell, told the Los Angeles Times that “we do not know yet what made this peak on Ceres, let alone made it the observed shape."
The fact that there is only one observable peak deepens the mystery. And it's relatively large size doesn't clear things up, Russel added, explaining, "there are processes on Earth that can grow mounds out of ground water in Arctic terrains on Earth. But these are much smaller structures."
Before the pyramid mystery was the bright spots mystery. Last week, NASA mentioned that scientists still haven't been able figure out what bright spots on the dwarf planet could possible be:
A new view of [Ceres'] intriguing bright spots, located in a crater about 55 miles (90 kilometers) across, shows even more small spots in the crater than were previously visible. At least eight spots can be seen next to the largest bright area, which scientists think is approximately 6 miles (9 kilometers) wide. A highly reflective material is responsible for these spots—ice and salt are leading possibilities, but scientists are considering other options, too.
NASA even wants your opinion on what may be going on up there:
We hope those "other options" come in peace.
Danielle Wiener-Bronner is a news reporter.