CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Phoebe Rotation Movie

Phoebe Rotation Movie
PIA 06065

Avg Rating: 7.62/10

Movie 340 x 340:
GIF 1.2 MB
MP4 movie 201 KB


Phoebe Rotation Movie
PIA 06065

Avg Rating: 7.57/10

Full Size 340 x 340:
  Phoebe rotates through nearly one full rotation in this animated sequence of nine color frames, taken on Cassini's approach to the small moon on June 10, 2004. Phoebe rotates on its axis once every 9 hours and 16 minutes; this sequence spans 8 hours and 14 minutes; all 360 degrees of longitude on Phoebe are visible in this sequence.

The surface is clearly covered by impact craters of a wide range of sizes, up to 40% the diameter of the moon, creating rugged topography illustrated dramatically along the terminator and limb.

The images that make up this sequence were obtained at a phase, or Sun-Phoebe-spacecraft, angle of 87 degrees, and from distances ranging from 877,453 kilometers (545,341 miles) to 688,924,000 kilometers (428,169 miles). The image scale ranges from 5.3 to 4.1 kilometers (3.3 to 2.6 miles) per pixel. To aid visibility, the images were magnified three times via linear interpolation; no contrast enhancement was performed.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The imaging team consists of scientists from the US, England, France, and Germany. The imaging operations center and team lead (Dr. C. Porco) are based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission, visit and the Cassini imaging team home page,

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: June 12, 2004 (PIA 06065)
Image/Caption Information

Alliance Member Comments
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971 (Feb 12, 2010 at 3:10 PM):
Looks very much the rotation is prograde.
Mercury_3488 (Dec 28, 2008 at 5:51 PM):
Although Phoebe orbits Saturn in a retrograde direction, looks like the rotation on the axis is prograde.

Will be very interesting indeed to compare the fantastic Cassini Phoebe encounter with the New Horizons imagery & spectra of the Pluto moons Nix & Hydra (though Phoebe is very much larger than both).

I still reckon Cassini beat New Horizons to imaging a KBO in close up. Unless we think Triton is a captured KBO by Neptune, then Voyager 2 wins.

Eris, Triton & Pluto (that order of descending size & mass), still to me appear to share a common origin in the Kuiper Belt, just that Eris & Pluto are the largest. Does Phoebe share a common origin too with them??

Andrew Brown.