Paper No. 178-7
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM
NUMERICAL MODELING OF CERES’ THERMAL HISTORY AND EVOLUTION USING DAWN MISSION DATA AND ANALYSIS TO CONSTRAIN POSSIBLE EVOLUTIONARY PATHWAYS
Data collected at Ceres by the recent Dawn mission and subsequent analyses has led to a vastly improved understanding of the largest body in the asteroid belt. From more precise constraints on simple physical parameters such as bulk density, moment of inertia, and polar/equatorial radii, to a better characterization of the surface morphology and composition from the investigation of of crater images, a clearer picture of rheological and even stratigraphic constraints has emerged. While a number of models of Ceres’ geophysical evolution were developed prior to the Dawn mission, the new data and analyses provide an opportunity to conduct an investigation along these lines that target the physical, geophysical, chemical, and morphological constraints suggested by the new data. We present the results from a 1.5-D finite difference model that investigates the thermal history, differentiation, and evolution of Ceres, examining the set(s) of initial and boundary conditions (time of accretion, surface temperature and origin, initial ratio of water/rock, and initial composition of rock and fluids) that best explain the suite of observations collected during the Dawn mission and subsequent analyses by the scientific community.