View Full Version : Vivid View of Spongy Hyperion

2005-Sep-30, 05:01 PM
SUMMARY: Cassini made its first flyby of Saturn's moon Hyperion last week, and took this amazing photograph. The spacecraft got within 500 km (310 miles), and you can clearly see how unusual this spongy-looking moon is. Scientists think that Hyperion is little more than a pile of rubble, loosely held together by its own gravity because much of its mass is just empty space. Hyperion is only 266 kilometers (165 miles) across, has an irregular shape, and spins in a chaotic rotation.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/view_spongy_hyperion.html)
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2005-Sep-30, 08:55 PM
I find the most fascinating aspect of this photo to be the radiative nature of holes on the main crater. If the moon consists of a lot of ice then perhaps it's landslide melt from hot debris from the main impact. It's remarkable that the main impact didn't shatter the moon completely.

2005-Sep-30, 09:33 PM
What a wonderful image of Hyperion! Who could have imagined it would have had this "spongy" appearnce! Cassini never stops giving us surprises - every Saturnian moon is so different to the others!

2005-Sep-30, 09:42 PM
It's just an amazing picture to look at it. I must have spent 10 minutes just gazing at it originally.

2005-Sep-30, 09:44 PM
It's just an amazing picture to look at it. I must have spent 10 minutes just gazing at it originally.
Which doesn't surprise me in the least!!! lol! :D

2005-Sep-30, 10:33 PM
I'm amazed at how organic it is in appearance. I would assume that it developed as a process of accretion?? I have this incredible curiosity as to its 'growth'. I am always amazed when I see physical processes that have common threads from the microscopic to the cosmic. Is there some chemical or physical process that would compliment the accretion process that would make it resemble the characteristics of a 'sponge'??? Curiouser and curioser... tell me if I'm out to lunch please...lol

2005-Oct-01, 01:30 AM
What an incredible picture . Hyperion look like a rock or a piece of wood covered with barnacles !

But i think on the contrary this strange aspect is the result of erosion by sublimation of ice. dark materials being the remnants of this process. As if hyperion have been in the past a kind of comet.

2005-Oct-02, 01:28 AM
I think what looks like a large impact crater at first is more like a sink-hole, perhaps due to internal melting. The central bulge reminds me of soap foam gathering above a drain.
The strange thing is that the surface of the sunken area and the surrounding areas still look so similar, old, as opposed to the landslide areas.

2005-Oct-02, 05:16 AM
it looks a bit like a crumpet to me.

i've sometimes wondered if some of these cratering effects are caused by bubbles of gas rising and bursting.

ps: there's a really good shot of pandora at the cassini site too.

2005-Oct-03, 07:30 PM
Growth, or sublimation?

There is some evidence of talus-like slides, but I can't see anything that firmly prefers one primary solution or the other.

Absolutely amazing.

Edited to add: the central area could be viewed as one huge crater with fanned ejecta patterns, but the enter surface - except for the fans, would have to be pock-marked after the fact - why not the fans?