An international team of researchers has found evidence that suggests the large dome found on the surface of the dwarf planet Ceres is made of slurry—a mix of salty brine and solid particles. In their paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience, the group describes their study of data from the Dawn spacecraft and what it revealed.
Back in 2015, NASA's Dawn space probe showed that there was a domed-shaped mountain approximately four kilometers high and seventeen kilometers wide—since named Ahuna Mons—rising from the surface of Ceres, a dwarf planet residing in our solar system's asteroid belt. Initial inspection suggested volcanism; the dome-shape streaked mountain with salt on its slope looked reminiscent of volcanoes here on Earth, or even the icy domes seen on some of the solar system's moons. But logic has suggested that the mechanics involved in creating volcanism on a dwarf planet would not work. Because of its small size, it would cool down and solidify, preventing any interior activity. But that logic appears not to apply to Ceres, the team found.
Just because it's small doesn't mean it's dead.