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Saturn's Moons

Categories: Nature
Added: Fri Jun 23 06:20:59 -0600 2006Views: 17,126
Rating: 5.00 (4 votes)
SaturnSean Connery >
Submitted by fun-facts
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  • Titan is the largest of Saturn’s moons. It is the second largest moon in the solar system. In fact, it is larger than both Mercury and Pluto, which are planets.* Scientists are particularly interested in Titan because it’s one of the few known moons with its own dense atmosphere. Titan’s atmosphere is also thought to be very similar to what Earth’s atmosphere was a long time ago. By learning about Titan, we’ll learn about our own planet.* Iapetus (eye-AP-eh-tuss) is a very curious moon. It’s so unusual that it seems to have a split personality. One hemisphere is covered with material darker than black velvet while the other side is covered with material brighter than snow.* Iapetus’ dark side is so dark that when Giovanni Cassini first saw it, he could only see the bright side of the moon.
  • Mimas (MY-mass), one of the innermost moons of Saturn, was discovered in 1789 by William Herschel. It has a low density, meaning it probably consists mostly of ice.* Mimas has an enormous crater named Herschel on one side. The impact that caused the crater probably came close to shattering the moon. Herschel is 130 kilometers (80 miles) wide, one-third the diameter of Mimas.* Hyperion (high-PEER-ee-on) is shaped sort of like a hamburger patty and rotates chaotically because of the gravitational influence of nearby Titan.
  • The tiny moon Pan, one of Saturn’s smallest moons, orbits within Saturn’s A-Ring and helps clear out an area between the rings called the Encke Gap. Scientists believe that if Pan didn’t exist, neither would the Encke Gap.

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