Ceres has the most water of any object in the inner solar system after our own world. Even more interesting, according to Professor Avi Loeb from Harvard, Ceres' subterranean brine picks could provide excellent habitats for life as we know it.
Our Solar System is a curious place. Although we have eight planets that make up its core, countless other worlds share our cosmic neighborhood. Many are dwarf planets, like Puto and Ceres. Others are the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, like Enceladus and Europa. And although we have explored our solar system for over a century with telescopes, we still do not know if there are other moons, dwarf planets, or planets out there. What we have found so far is intriguing. We have found that many worlds that call our solar system home are places where life as we know it could survive, one way or the other. And while scientists are eager to land humans on Mars and colonize the red planet, there are other places worth the while
Ceres, another human habitat?
Ceres is a dwarf planet twenty-seven percent the size and one-point-three percent the mass of our Moon. It is the largest object in the asteroid belt that separates Mars from the gas giant Jupiter. Ceres is a curious world, and recent missions to the dwarf planet have only confirmed that. Discovered in 1801 by an astronomer called Giuseppe Piazzi from the Palermo Astronomical Observatory, the dwarf planet was visited by the Dawn spacecraft in 2015. Dawn found Ceres to be a very interesting world.
Ceres is a watery world
Although Ceres is farther away from the Sun than Earth and Mars, it turns out that the dwarf planet is approximately half water by volume (Earth is only 0.1%) and 73 % rocky by mass. In fact, this not-so-distant world has the most water of any object in the inner solar system after our own world. Even more interesting, according to Professor Avi Loeb from Harvard, Ceres’ subterranean brine picks could provide excellent habitats for life as we know it.
Why humans should colonize Ceres
As explained by Professor Loeb, there are many reasons why we should colonize the dwarf planet in the near future. Ceres is rich in resources. It has an abundance of organic molecules and ammonia, and it has lots of water. It receives enough Sunlight to enable us to produce energy using solar-powered facilities. If we were to colonize Ceres, it could prove to be a transport hub that would allow humans to propagate further into the solar system, starting to the very rich asteroid belt, from which we could extract extremely valuable resources that would allow us to develop further technology needed to explore the outer solar system.