Thomas, P. C. and Armstrong, J. W. and Asmar, S. W. and Burns, J. A. and Denk, T. and Giese, B. and Helfenstein, P. and Iess, L. and Johnson, T. V. and McEwen, A. and Nicolaisen, L. and Porco, C. and Rappaport, N. and Richardson, J. and Somenzi, L. and Tortora, P. and Turtle, E. P. and Veverka, J. (2007) Hyperion's sponge-like appearance. Nature, 448 (7149), pp. 50-53. DOI: 10.1038/nature05779.
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Saturn's Hyperion, the largest known irregularly-shaped satellite and the only moon observed to undergo chaotic rotation1-3, shows a sponge-like appearance at scales of a few km. This unique appearance, distinct from surfaces of other small, airless objects subject to shaping by impact cratering, suggested the possibility of unexpected modification of surface features (D. P. Cruikshank et al. in preparation). Here we analyze images of Hyperion to show that the appearance is the result of a high surface density of relatively well-preserved 2-10 km impact craters, we determine the size and mass of Hyperion, and obtain a mean density indicative of porosity >40%. The high porosity may enhance preservation of craters by minimizing the amount of ejecta produced or retained4,5 and thus be the crucial factor in this unusual landscape.
|Title:||Hyperion's sponge-like appearance|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Nature|
|In ISI Web of Science:||Yes|
|Page Range:||pp. 50-53|
|Keywords:||Hyperion, Saturnian satellites|
|HGF - Research field:||Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)|
|HGF - Program:||Space (old)|
|HGF - Program Themes:||W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums|
|DLR - Research area:||Space|
|DLR - Program:||W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums|
|DLR - Research theme (Project):||W - Vorhaben CASSINI (old)|
|Institutes and Institutions:||Institute of Planetary Research > Planetary Geodesy|
|Deposited By:||Dr.rer.nat. Bernd Giese|
|Deposited On:||15 Jan 2008|
|Last Modified:||27 Apr 2009 12:34|
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