The Odd Icy Moons Of Saturn: After Cassini, We Still Don’t Know Everything
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About The Author

Bonnie J. Buratti is a planetary astronomer in the Division of Earth and Space Sciences at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, where she leads the Comets, Asteroids, and Satellites Group. Her research involves the composition and physical properties of planetary surfaces, and volatile transport in the outer solar system.

                       

The Odd Icy Moons Of Saturn: After Cassini, We Still Don’t Know Everything

Cassini Mission scientists were thrilled when they got permission for a “sneak peek” at Saturn’s mysterious moon Iapetus on New Year’s Day 2005. Soon after he discovered it in 1671, Giovanni Cassini (the mission’s namesake) realized Iapetus was truly unusual: bright on one side, but dark on the other. In 1981, the Voyager 2 spacecraft showed that one side was similar to slightly dirty snow, while the other side was as black as coal. Scientists couldn’t agree on how this...

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