Spongy Hyperion

The moons of Saturn are a strange assortment of worlds. When the Cassini spacecraft takes the highest resolution images ever of each new world, it generally captures something that leaves scientists and space buffs scratching their heads.

Enter the next head-scratcher: Hyperion. This tiny water ice moon looks like a sponge and may in fact be porous, with up to 40 percent of its interior composed of empty space. Too small to gravitationally sculpt itself into a sphere, Hyperion has been further misshapen by impacts. The small amount of dark material visible in images may be debris from much smaller impacts.

The image above is one of a series taken by Cassini between June 09 and June 11, 2005 and put together into a short movie. Cassini will target Hyperion for a close flyby on September 26, 2005.

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Richard Leis

Richard Leis is a fiction writer and poet, with his first published poem forthcoming later in 2017 from Impossible Archetype. His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published on Tiny Donkey. Richard is also the Downlink Lead for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) team at the University of Arizona. He monitors images of the Martian surface taken by the HiRISE camera located on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in orbit around Mars and helps ensure they process successfully and are validated for quick release to the science community and public. Once upon a time, Richard wrote and edited the science and technology news and commentary website Frontier Channel, hosted the RADIO Frontier Channel podcast, and organized transhumanist clubs. Follow Richard on his website (richardleis.com), on Goodreads (richardleis), his Micro.blog (@richardleis), Twitter (@richardleisjr), and Facebook (richardleisjr).