Astronomy Picture of the Day

Hyperion: Sponge Moon of Saturn

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#77381 by @ 27.07.2005 00:00 - nach oben -
Hyperion: Sponge Moon of Saturn

Why is Saturn's moon Hyperion textured like a sponge?

Recent high-resolution images from the
robot Cassini spacecraft orbiting
Saturn show
to be an even stranger place than thought before.

Previously, it was known that the length of a day on
Hyperion is unpredictable.

The moon's highly
elliptical orbit around Saturn, its highly non-spherical shape,
and its locked 4:3
orbital resonance with
Titan torque Hyperion around so much it is hard to predict
when the Sun will rise next.

The newly imaged craters on the unusually coarse surface
are surely the result of impacts, but for some reason have dark centers.

The low density of
Hyperion indicates it might even be a
spelunker's paradise, riddled with tremendous caverns.

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