NASA Is About to Open a 4.6-Billion-Year-Old Time Capsule

What Scientists Hope to Find When the Dawn Spacecraft Begins Exploring the Dwarf Planet Ceres

ceres

I have been in love since the age of 4. The object of my lifelong passion is the universe, which I first recognized when a meteor streaked through the sky over my home in Toledo, Ohio. At 12, I had my first encounter with dwarf planet Ceres, gazing in delighted wonder at a faint dot of light amidst the stars in my small telescope. It had never occurred to me that many years later I would be responsible for the first spacecraft to explore that mysterious, distant orb.

But now, …

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