“Lots of science fiction deals with distant times and places. Intrepid prospectors in the Asteroid Belt. Interstellar epics. Galactic empires. Trips to the remote past or future.” -Edward M. Lerner
Of all the asteroids we’ve ever discovered, it’s arguably the very first one, Ceres, that’s got the most to teach us. Currently being mapped at higher and higher resolution by NASA’s Dawn Spacecraft, Ceres isn’t just the largest asteroid we’ve got, it’s also one of the least inclined, orbiting the Sun with a tilt of just 3 degrees.
This means, much like the Moon, that there’s a chance it has permanently shadowed craters at its poles, possibly containing volatile materials that have boiled off everywhere else on the world. Yet within these permanent shadows, relics from billions of years ago may still persist.