THIS DAY IN HISTORY: Dwarf Planet Ceres Spotted By Giuseppe Piazzi In 1801

By  //  January 1, 2018

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January 1, 1801

The dwarf planet Ceres became the first body of the asteroid belt to be discovered when Giuseppe Piazzi spotted it #Today (January 1st) in 1801. (NASA Image)

(NASA) – The dwarf planet Ceres became the first body of the asteroid belt to be discovered when Giuseppe Piazzi spotted it #Today (January 1st) in 1801.

Ceres is the largest object in the asteroid belt, with a radius of 296 miles (476 kilometers).

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft entered orbit around Ceres in March 2015, after first having orbited the asteroid Vesta from 2011-2012.

In October 2017 the mission at Ceres was extended, in part, so Dawn will be able to observe any changes that occur in early 2018 as Ceres reaches perihelion (the part of its orbit around the asteroid belt that is closest to the Sun.)

As usual, close up inspection of Ceres has turned up as many questions as answers.

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