Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Methone smooth ovoid moon of Saturn
Previous May Cassini completed the first overview of Methoni (or Methone ), a small moon of Saturn, and exposed that the moon's surface was devoid of craters.
The craters are usually due to impact and so far have been found in all the moons, asteroids and comet nuclei observed at close range. Until the Earth and Titan have craters.
The smooth oval shape of the moon from 3 km in diameter could be due to the ability of the surface to regroup, what might happen if the satellite was covered with a pile of debris of great depth and no perceptible now.
If this were the case, the objects in the solar system that could be related to Methoni be other moons of Saturn as Telesto, Pandora and Calypso, and the asteroid Tonkawa, since all these objects have unusually smooth areas.
However, Methoni is not totally devoid of accidents, because some regions of the moon are darker than others.
Although it is difficult to fly Methoni, no doubt that will continue the interest in nature and history of this strange satellite.
The smooth surface of Calypso strangely. This image was generated from data taken by the Cassini spacecraft in February 2010 while flying Calipso, a moon of Saturn 20 km long and irregular contours. Calipso, like its sister moon Telesto and the shepherd moon Pandora, proved to be globally smooth in any case much smoother than most larger satellites of Saturn. The main hypotheses to explain this feature of Calypso suggests that much of the surface of the small moon is not made up of solid rock but by a loose conglomerate of debris, so Calipso would become a pile of rubble in orbit. Specifically, the surface of the moon would consist of relatively small pieces of loose ice that this feature could have filled both the many small craters and other morphological features of the satellite that scientists expected to see
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