Strange Walnut Shaped Moon of Saturn

No, that's not Death Star - rather, it's a strange walnut-shaped moon of Saturn. Scientists have just solved the mystery of its weird shape:

There's a strange moon whizzing around Saturn that's shaped, oddly, like a walnut.

Now astronomers find that Iapetus got its nutty shape from a super-fast spin that was frozen into place early in the solar system's formation.

When the Cassini spacecraft snapped close-ups of Saturn's moons in 2005, it revealed a bulging waistline of rock along the equator of the now slowly spinning Iapetus. Astronomers think this characteristic shape persists because Iapetus was cryogenically frozen in time about 3 billion years ago, during the moon's "teen" years.

"Iapetus spun fast, froze young and left behind a body with lasting curves," said Julie Castillo, a Cassini scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif.

Link


Newest 3
Newest 3 Comments

"spun fast, froze young and left behind a body with lasting curves" makes it sounds like they're talking about Marylin Monroe or some OD'd starlet...
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Commenting is closed.





Check out Twaggies' very funny clip:

Give a Man a Fish - Twaggies by Twaggies
Email This Post to a Friend
"Strange Walnut Shaped Moon of Saturn"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.

 

Success! Your email has been sent!

close window