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New Pictures of Saturn's Moon Hyperion

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posted on Aug, 27 2011 @ 06:41 PM
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[Saturn's Moon] Hyperion is a lumpy chunk of ice only about 270 km (170 miles) across on average, but yesterday (August 25, 2011) Cassini passed about 25,000 km away from it, so it got a lot of high-resolution shots. As you can see, it’s saturated with craters. But they look funny! The overwhelming impression I get is that Hyperion is made of resilient foam, like a packing peanut. I’m also fascinated by the ginormous crater that dominates this face of the moon.

If Hyperion were made of stiff rock, an impact that size would’ve shattered it like a bullet hitting a pebble. But if the composition of the moon is able to compress and compact — like foam, or something with lots of pockets of empty space inside it — the impact would do pretty much what we see here. Lots of asteroids appear to be "rubble piles" — chunks of material held together by their own gravity, possibly due to impacts that produced myriads of cracks inside the body, or events that just barely shattered the rock, letting it re-accumulate under its own gravity. I’m not saying Hyperion is like that (it’s still not well-understood what it’s like), but that’s one way to bet.

Note also all the dark spots in the bottoms of the craters. Those are from hydrocarbons, complex organic molecules formed when ultraviolet light from the Sun hits simple molecules like methane, rearranging the atoms into bigger molecules. Even under the weak gravity of the moon they flow to the bottoms of the craters, giving Hyperion that decidedly odd black-eyed pea look.


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More fascinating pictures from Cassini. Looks like a small and action packed place

edit on 8/27/2011 by iforget because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 27 2011 @ 06:50 PM
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Really cool, it looks honeycombed!



posted on Aug, 27 2011 @ 06:52 PM
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Cool thanks!
The Cassini mission is a grand NASA success. Think of what it takes to steer a craft twice as far away from the sun as Jupiter, I think communications are somewhere around a 15 minute delay–(didn't look it up so I must be wrong).



posted on Aug, 27 2011 @ 06:54 PM
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reply to post by AngelHeart
 


Truly shows the scars of a troubled childhood. Saturn likely has the most interesting moons in the solar system, quite a huge system indeed.



posted on Aug, 27 2011 @ 06:57 PM
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Really cool find.

Whenever I see another planet/moon with tons of craters, I always think of how lucky we are to be safe in the solar system.

I hope I don't jinx it.



posted on Aug, 27 2011 @ 07:32 PM
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reply to post by iforget
 


Beautiful picture. I think I see a yeti at 2 o'clock mid point. got to look close

2nd line



posted on Aug, 27 2011 @ 08:00 PM
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Originally posted by psilo
Whenever I see another planet/moon with tons of craters, I always think of how lucky we are to be safe in the solar system.


We aren't 'lucky'. If it weren't for plate tectonics, volcanoes, and many other forms of geologic activity we'd look just as cratered.



posted on Aug, 27 2011 @ 08:23 PM
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it looks puffed like a Cheeto or a pork rind



posted on Aug, 27 2011 @ 08:32 PM
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Love seeing pics like this!
Although it does make me kinda sad that i will never see wonders like this with my own eyes!



posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 12:32 AM
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thats pretty cool looking. I wonder what it would be like to step on it. I bet it would be tons of fun to drive a Go Kart on it! Sure ET will let me borrow one of his...



posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 12:33 AM
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reply to post by Eavel
 


I dont see the yeti man help me out a little lol



posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 12:35 AM
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NVM I SEE HIM OMG IT DOES LOOK LIKE A PERSON ON THERE LOOL look around 2 o clock he is a little bit east of the side coming out of a shadow.



posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 01:43 AM
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reply to post by iforget
 


Judging from the amount of craters, it seems like that moon has been through quite a bit.



posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 12:34 PM
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reply to post by iforget
 


The impact craters, I think, are a result of Ouster bombardments. I was disappointed that you cannot make out the Time Tombs from this image.


Blazing Hyperion on his orbed fire
Still sat, still snuff'd the incense, teeming up
From man to the sun's God; yet unsecure:
For as among us mortals omens drear



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