The NASA spacecraft known as Dawn discovered a saltwater ocean below the dwarf planet Ceres that leads scientist to believe that alien life may have or even still exists beneath the surface.
NASA has made some pretty interesting discoveries in 2020 alone, ranging from the potential of a parallel universe all the way to a new planet stumbled upon by a 17-year-old intern. The latest report from outer space may now even include the existence of alien life by way of a newly-discovered saltwater ocean beneath the surface of dwarf planet Ceres.
The hidden body of water was unveiled via the NASA Dawn spacecraft, which according to Business Insider orbited Ceres for three years before running out of fuel back in 2018. The findings are still being processed, but scientists are eager to see what was recorded given the fact that Dawn was just 22 miles above the planet's surface during its orbit. Ceres, which sits as the largest object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, displays bright spots that scientists couldn't accurately determine for years. Now it appears those spots were shiny due to a salty crust compound called sodium carbonate — it's made up of sodium, carbon, and oxygen — brought to the surface by liquid that evaporated on the surface of Ceres.
As you can see in the illustration above provided by CNN, the red signifies a false-color view of the salty liquids that rose up from an underground reservoir said to be located 25 miles deep and hundreds of miles wide. Because of this, Ceres was elevated to "ocean world" status and now is a contender for alien life.
Read the full report over on CNN for a breakdown of the process it took to discover this secret body of water and what it could mean for future findings.