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This is the smallest of the five know dwarf planets. Nevertheless, Ceres is a very interesting celestial body: with its diameter of 1000 km it has differentiated into a rocky core and an icy mantle. It is one of the objects in our solar system on which scientists suspect there may be an ocean of liquid water under its icy surface (like e.g. Saturn's moon Encedalus or Jupiter's moon Europa). Ceres is the biggest object in the asteroid belt and contains about one third of the entire mass of the asteroid belt. Surface temperatures can get as high as a cosy -38 °C (-36 °F). Let's wait until May 2015 when the Dawn spacecraft will get into Ceres' orbit and deliver high definition images and a wealth of information about this interesting dwarf planet.

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Published by Published or last modified on 2017-01-14