Saturn's Moons

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by karisalomon
Last updated 6 years ago

Planets & Astronomy

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Saturn's Moons

Saturn's Moons

Basic Info• Christiaan Huygens discovered the first known moon of Saturn (Titan), in 1655.• There are 53 moons orbiting Saturn (that we’ve discovered).• Two of the moons orbit within Saturn’s rings.• Certain smaller moons are trapped in the orbits of larger ones.• Two certain moons occasionally pass very close together, and exchange orbit routes.

Titan• So large that it affects other nearby moons orbits• 5150 km (3200 mi) in diameter• 2nd largest moon in the solar system• Has a nitrogen rich atmosphere• Its atmosphere is similar to Earth’s early atmosphere• Atmosphere- approximately 95% nitrogen; has traces of methane• Atmosphere extends 600 km (373 mi) into space• First moon discovered

Phoebe• Orbits Saturn in opposite direction of other large moons (some of the more recently discovered moons do that as well)• 220 km (132 mi) in diameter ( 1/5 of the diameter of Earth’s moon)• Rotates every 9 hours• Completes orbit in about 18 months, or a year and a half• Very dark (reflects only 6% of the light it gets)• Discovered in 1898• 12,952,000 km (8,049,668 mi) from Saturn

Janus• Dubbed the “Siamese twin” of Epimethemus because they have very close orbit paths• Ancient cratered surface• Has grooves similar to Martian moon Phobos• 151,500 km (94,100 mi) from Saturn• Orbits around Saturn in less than 17 hours!• Composed of a collection of numerous pieces of rock held together by gravity• One side always faces Saturn• -319°F (-195°C)• Two main craters named Castor and Phoebe• Average diameter: 179 km (111 mi)• Discovered in 1966

Calypso• Trails behind Tethys• Only 22 km (14 mi) in diameter• Irregularly shaped• Appears to have loose surface material capable of “smoothing” crater appearance• Discovered in 1980• Named after a nymph whose name means “I hide”, who lived alone on her island until she fell in love with explorer Odysseus

Tethys• 1,066 km (662 mi) in diameter• 294,660 km (183,100 mi) from Saturn• Cold and airless• Composed mostly of ice and a small portion of rock• -305°F (-187°C)• Has a giant impact crater and a giant valley• The crater is 400 km (250 mi) in diameter• The valley is 100 km (62 mi) wide, 3-5 km (2-3 mi) deep, and extends 2000 km (1200 mi)• Discovered in 1684


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