Latest Iapetus Stories
NASA scientists are on the trail of Iapetus' mysterious dark side, which seems to be home to a bizarre "runaway" process that is transporting vaporized water ice from the dark areas to the white areas of the Saturnian moon.
Scientists on the Cassini mission to Saturn are poring through hundreds of images returned from the Sept. 10 flyby of Saturn's two-toned moon Iapetus. Pictures returned late Tuesday and early Wednesday show the moon's yin and yang--a white hemisphere resembling snow, and the other as black as tar.
The international Cassini spacecraft went into safe mode this week after successfully passing over a Saturn moon that was the mysterious destination of a deep-space faring astronaut in Arthur C. Clarke's novel "2001: A Space Odyssey."
Cassini completed its closest flyby of the odd moon Iapetus on Sept. 10, 2007. The spacecraft flew about 1,640 kilometers (1,000 miles) from Iapetus' surface and is returning amazing views of the bizarre moon.
Cassini will make its only close flyby of Saturn's odd, two-toned, walnut-shaped moon Iapetus on Sept. 10, 2007, at about 1,640 kilometers (1,000 miles) from the surface.
Saturn's distinctive moon Iapetus is cryogenically frozen in the equivalent of its teenage years. The moon has retained the youthful figure and bulging waistline it sported more than three billion years ago.
As the Cassini spacecraft reaches the halfway mark in its four-year tour of the Saturn system, discoveries made during the first half of the mission have scientists revved up to find out what's in store for the second act. Cassini has been orbiting Saturn since June 30, 2004, studying the planet, its rings and moons.
There is a hot spot on one of Saturn's moons which should not be there and has yet to be explained, scientists said on Tuesday. It is located at the south pole of Enceladus, a moon with a diameter of just 500 km (310 miles) which orbits Saturn at a distance of around 238,000 km.
Two new Cassini views of Saturn's tumbling moon Hyperion offer the best looks yet at one of the icy, irregularly-shaped moons that orbit the giant, ringed planet.
Cassini-Huygens mission are providing convincing evidence that Saturnâ€™s moon Phoebe was formed elsewhere in the Solar System, and was only later caught by the planet's gravitational pull.
Saturn's moon Phoebe -- Phoebe is the outermost of Saturn's known moons. Phoebe is almost 4 times more distant from Saturn than its nearest neighbor (Iapetus). It was discovered by William Henry Pickering in 1898. Most of Saturn's moons have very bright surfaces, but Phoebe's albedo is very low (.06), as dark as lampblack. All of Saturn's moons except for Phoebe and Iapetus orbit very nearly in the plane of Saturn's equator. Phoebe's orbit is retrograde, inclined almost 175, and is...
Saturn's moon Hyperion -- Hyperion is a moon of Saturn discovered by Bond and Lassell in 1848. It is the largest highly irregular (non-spherical) body in the solar system (Proteus is quite a bit larger but is almost spherical). It seems likely that Hyperion is a fragment of a larger body that was broken by a large impact in the distant past. The largest crater on its surface is approximately 120 kilometers in diameter and 10 kilometers deep. Like most of Saturn's moons, Hyperion's low...
Saturn's moon Rhea -- Rhea is the second largest moon of Saturn. It was discovered in 1672 by Giovanni Cassini. Rhea is an icy body with a density of about 1.24 gm/cm3. This low density indicates that it has a rocky core taking up less than one-third of the moon's mass with the rest composed of water-ice. Rhea's features resemble those of Dione, with dissimilar leading and trailing hemispheres, suggesting similar composition and histories. The temperature on Rhea is -174°C in direct...
Saturn's moon Dione -- Dione is a moon of Saturn discovered by Giovanni Cassini in 1684. It is composed primarily of water ice, but as the densest of Saturn's moons (aside from Titan, whose density is increased by gravitational compression) it must have a considerable fraction of denser material like silicate rock in its interior. Though somewhat smaller, Dione is otherwise very similar to Rhea. They both have similar compositions, albedo features and varied terrain. Both have dissimilar...
The Planet Saturn -- in astronomy, 6th planet from the sun. Astronomical and Physical Characteristics of Saturn Saturn's orbit lies between those of Jupiter and Uranus; its mean distance from the sun is c.886 million mi (1.43 billion km), almost twice that of Jupiter, and its period of revolution is about 291/2 years. Saturn appears in the sky as a yellow, starlike object of the first magnitude. When viewed through a telescope, it is seen as a golden sphere, crossed by a series of...
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