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Unknown dark material - Meaning?

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posted on Oct, 6 2005 @ 03:50 AM
I was browsing the pics on the Astronomy Picture of the Day site. Some awesome pics might I add!

Two pics that caught my eyes were
Shadow of Phobos
Saturn's Hyperion: A Moon with Odd Craters

Awesome, isn't it?
The description that goes with this pic is as follows:
Explanation: What lies at the bottom of Hyperion's strange craters? Nobody knows. To help find out, the robot Cassini spacecraft now orbiting Saturn swooped past the sponge-textured moon again last week and took an image of unprecedented detail. That image, shown above in false color, shows a remarkable world strewn with strange craters and a generally odd surface. The slight differences in color likely show differences in surface composition. At the bottom of most craters lies some type of unknown dark material. Inspection of the image shows bright features indicating that the dark material might be only tens of meters thick in some places. Hyperion is about 250 kilometers across, rotates chaotically, and has a density so low that it might house a vast system of caverns inside.

I was just wondering... "Unknown dark material"... Does that merely mean that they don't know what type of material it is - out of the known "materials" (I take it they mean constructed out of certain elements), or is it a completely "new material" which could mean new elements?
And do we/NASA have the technology to retrieve some of these "unknown materials" from Hyperion?

posted on Oct, 6 2005 @ 03:58 AM
Wow, that is a really fantastic shot.

As for the unknown dark material, my guess being, it's a "hole" going deeper into it, as the article even says they believe it is filled with caverns.

What strikes me most about this image is how much it resembles an eye looking at me. Kinda freaky actually.


posted on Oct, 6 2005 @ 08:37 AM
No, it's not going to be a new element. We know pretty much all thier is to know about the elements that have been discovered thus far. For it to be a newer element, it would have an amazingly short half-life, and it would have been gone by now. If it were a pre-existing element, we could use spectroscopy to discern what it was.

My guess is that it's some sort of hydro-carbon.

posted on Oct, 6 2005 @ 11:43 AM
This is a great picture and a very awesome moon. It reminded me of a wasp nest when I first looked at it. I would hate to see wasps babies of the size that would come outa those craters. I bet their are lots of asteroids out past Pluto that look like that.


posted on Oct, 6 2005 @ 11:59 AM
Gemwolf so.. we.. meet again.. Nice find.

That is interesting. Perhaps this is the shadow peoples home planet.

If I were to take a logical guess I would say it is debris from meteor impacts or a heaver substance from the deeps of the moon. not sure

posted on Oct, 6 2005 @ 04:21 PM
Not neccesarily. If there is an element quite a bit beyond our so far unstable known elements, it COULD be a stable element. Bottom line is, like all others: we will never know unless we go there.

But geez! what unlucky moon! how many impacts? must be pretty old, or just repeatedly in the wrong place at the right time.

[edit on 6-10-2005 by Shadow88]

posted on Oct, 6 2005 @ 04:30 PM
Every now and then, science names something intelligently. Weird, I know, and they try not to, but with so many people working so hard, the odds are that something will get named in an orderly fashion that is useful for later work and easy to understand.

It happens.

Unknown - We don't know what it is
Dark - It's dark
Material - It's something

All it means is that it's something dark, and we don't know what it is. Nothing new.

posted on Oct, 6 2005 @ 04:40 PM
I'm just gonna go out on a limb here and say that the "dark material" are SHADOWS. You know, caused by lack of direct light?


posted on Oct, 6 2005 @ 05:34 PM

Originally posted by Dero
I'm just gonna go out on a limb here and say that the "dark material" are SHADOWS. You know, caused by lack of direct light?


Maybe if you had read the post, you would have seen that there is actually stuff down there. So calm down, buddy!

posted on Oct, 6 2005 @ 06:33 PM
There is dark material on many of the celestial bodies. Hyperion, Iapetus, Phobos, Mars, asteroids, and comets.

This dark material would most likely be organic compounds or carbon, like what has been found on the surface of Iapetus. It could be material that has been exposed to tremendous heat (rock ash?).

It may also be magma/lava which has cooled. That magma/lava could have originated from an internal source, or is caused by the melting of rock from the immense heat of impacts.

It could be just exposed mineral deposits or plain old, dirt or dirty ice.


[edit on 10/6/2005 by GoldEagle]

posted on Oct, 7 2005 @ 09:45 PM
Probably carbon based materials..
Similar to what makes comet sufaces dark...Leftovers, from the sublimation of
icy compounds...

what I would really like to know..Which I also asked (and guessed at) over at ID, is
why are the craters at the perimeter of this "sunken thing" stretched, but not obliterated? It's like that whole central portion of the moon sunk, like a shield volcano would, once it exhaled all of it's supporting structure...

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