The bright spots on Ceres are like giant "Old Faithful " geysers in the Yellowstone Caldera and the tall "pyramid mountain" is like a Mt St Helens, Mt Rainier or Mt Shasta volcano, getting ready to erupt.
The tall "pyramid" mountain is just a steep sided volcano like Mount Fuji, Mt. St Helens, Mt Shasta or Mt Etna on a geologically active dwarf planet. The material that built this mountain must be sticky and highly viscous to maintain the steep sides. The low gravity also enables the sides to remain steep, as long as the material is viscous.. The bright material spewing from the bright light calderas is like that of Hawaii and has a low viscosity so it flattens out. This bright light caldera is like the geysers found in the Yellowstone National Park Caldera.
It is interesting to note how the viscosity of the material Ceres is made of varies from place to place as it does on Earth.
The photo below of the 'bright spots" within the caldera on Ceres was published to the NASA JPL photo, Caltech website on June 22, 2015.
Ceres is emitting plumes of light and dark vapour from its bright spots caldera. I can also see 3 plumes of black smoke-like curved arcs on the southern, eastern and western areas surrounding the central bright spots.
The dark material is also being deposited to the north of the crater in a wide swath.
There are also black holes or calderas all around the rim and to the south of the multi bright "light" geysers.
The reason that the bright spots have not come into focus is because of a "heat haze", a bit like a mirage where the refraction of light is continually changing as the density of the air changes. They appear to shimmer as the geysers emit blasts of gas into space. That is why these bright geysers of gas remain bright as the dwarf planet rotates into darkness. It is because the geysers or volcanic eruptions are being spewed high into the zone above the Ceres surface and being lit by sunlight and because the heat from these geysers glows with a light of its own.. So we have our first volcanically active dwarf planet, with its molten core being heated by magnetic induction forces between Jupiter and the sun as it rotates . Ceres spins at a 9 hour rate, but gets continually slowed by the sun's slower rotation of about 25 days and Jupiter's 10 hour rotation. This internal tug of war heats the core and drives the volcanism on Ceres. It is called magnetic induction breaking and acceleration heating, the same mechanism that heats a motor and causes it to burn out when it cannot turn freely.
The photo above of the "Pyramid" volcano on Ceres was published to the NASA JPL photo, Caltech website on June 22, 2015.
Chris Landau (geologist)
June 27, 2015