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One Saturn Moon, Over Easy

29 Jan 2010, 18:40 UTC
One Saturn Moon, Over Easy
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Order up! —Image courtesy NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute Somewhere there's an intergalactic diner that's missing part of a really big blue-plate special. Of course, in reality this is Saturn's moon Prometheus cast in a rather unusual light, as seen by...

Order up!
—Image courtesy NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Somewhere there's an intergalactic diner that's missing part of a really big blue-plate special.

Of course, in reality this is Saturn's moon Prometheus cast in a rather unusual light, as seen by NASA's Cassini orbiter on January 27.

In this raw, unprocessed snapshot, Cassini caught the moon at just the right angle that natural light makes the porous, icy body look like a fried egg.

Now, Saturn has a lot of moons—more than 60 known and about 50 with official names—and the list keeps growing. In fact, just last March Cassini spotted a new moon hidden among Saturn's rings.

According to NASA, Saturn's many moons are a study in contrasts, varying "drastically in shape, size, surface age, and origin."

Among the oddities:

Titan, Saturn's biggest moon, with a thick atmosphere and lakes of liquid methane;

Enceladus, an icy body spitting out plumes of frozen particles rich in organics;
...

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