Feeds

Mysterious Phoebe: Cassini's next fly-by

Pictures from space

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

Tomorrow, the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft will fly past Phoebe, one of Saturn's many moons and one of the most mysterious bodies in the solar system.

The craft will send back pictures 1000 times more detailed than those produced last time Phoebe was photographed, when Voyager 2 swung past in 1981. The pictures below, sent back earlier this month, are already twice as good as any that have been seen before and reveal a substantial amount of detail. For example, the shadows suggest a surface covered in deep craters and tall mountainous peaks.

Phoebe, Saturn's mysterious moon

Scientists hope the data Cassini-Huyges sends back, which will include spectroscopic and radar data, will help them learn more about the composition of the moon. The ESA says the mission will help with unanswered questions such as did Phoebe ever melt? Does it have evidence of past interior melting? Was it ever an icy body?

Just 220km in diameter, Phoebe is in a very peculiar, retrograde orbit, and is very dark. Scientists speculate that it could be a body from the distant Kuiper belt, way out in the outer solar system. ®

Related stories

Scientist seeks alien cloud-dwelling bug
Cassini images delight star gazers
Rosetta space-bound at third attempt

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.