Home > Science/Astronomy > NASA’s Cassini Finds Saturn’s Moon Phoebe Has Planet-Like Qualities

NASA’s Cassini Finds Saturn’s Moon Phoebe Has Planet-Like Qualities

April 27, 2012 12:58 PM EDT

Phoebe

Saturn’s moon Phoebe(Photo: NASA)

Data from NASA‘s Cassini mission reveal Saturn’s moon Phoebe has more planet-like qualities than previously thought.

Scientists had their first close-up look at Phoebe when Cassini began exploring the Saturn system in 2004. Using data from multiple spacecraft instruments and a computer model of the moon’s chemistry, geophysics and geology, scientists found Phoebe was a so-called planetesimal, or remnant planetary building block. The findings appear in the April issue of the Journal Icarus.

“Unlike primitive bodies such as comets, Phoebe appears to have actively evolved for a time before it stalled out,” said Julie Castillo-Rogez, a planetary scientist at NASA‘s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif. “Objects like Phoebe are thought to have condensed very quickly. Hence, they represent building blocks of planets. They give scientists clues about what conditions were like around the time of the birth of giant planets and their moons”

Read more: http://www.scienceworldreport.com/articles/2993/20120427/nasas-cassini-finds-saturns-moon-phoebe-planet.htm

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