CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Phoebe: A Captured Planetesimal

Analysis of Cassini data, published this month in the journal Icarus, takes a new look at Saturn's irregular moon, Phoebe, and finds it to be an interloper in the Saturn system. (News release can be found here.)

Previously released images from Cassini's 2004 encounter with Phoebe are included here.

Apr 26, 2012: Phoebe in the Round - This panel of images shows the nearly spherical shape of Saturn's moon Phoebe, as derived from imaging obtained from NASA's Cassini spacecraft.

Jun 13, 2004: The Face of Phoebe - Phoebe's true nature is revealed in startling clarity in this mosaic of two images taken during Cassini's flyby on June 11, 2004.

Jun 12, 2004: Battered Moon - Early images returned from the first detailed reconnaissance of Saturn's small outer moon, Phoebe, show breathtaking details in the moon's pockmarked surface that already have imaging scientists puzzling over the body's history.

Jun 14, 2004: Skyline View - Images like this one, showing bright wispy streaks thought to be ice revealed by subsidence of crater walls, are leading to the view that Phoebe is an ice-rich body overlain with a thin layer of dark material.
Alliance Member Comments
Breitstar (Apr 28, 2012 at 0:24 AM):
I don't know why I'm captivated by Phoebe. It must be the sharp lines and ice, like she was an Olympic bobsledder. Skating in from the Ort cloud she saw Saturn and was drawn to her beauty.

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