Feeds

Saturn's moon Phoebe may be captured planetoid

It came from the Kuiper belt

SANS - Survey on application security programs

New analysis of images of Phoebe, one of Saturn's many moons, suggests it may be have started life as a planetoid in the Kuiper belt.

A paper in the April issue of Icarus suggests that after study with what NASA describes as “data from multiple spacecraft instruments and a computer model of the moon's chemistry, geophysics and geology” boffins reached the conclusion that Phoebe is a “remnant planetary building block.”

Phoebe: mostly round

One telltale sign is the moon's shape, visible at right. "From the shape seen in Cassini images and modeling the likely cratering history, we were able to see that Phoebe started with a nearly spherical shape, rather than being an irregular shape later smoothed into a sphere by impacts," said Peter Thomas, a Cassini team member and co-author of the study. That heat may have come from radioactive elements which generated internal heat and helped the object to form. Internal warming may, the paper says, account for water signatures found by Cassini, as Phoebe may once have been warm enough to host liquid water.

Other evidence for the theory includes Phoebe's density, which is close to that of Pluto and therefore hints at similar origins. Throw in the fact that Phoebe orbits backwards and scientists feel it may have been captured by Saturn's gravity, rather than the process that caused its other moons to form. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?
Recruiting now for charity starvation diet
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.