Tethys, Saturn’s icy moon
(ORDO NEWS) — The first image (below) shows a fairly large icy satellite of Saturn, Tethys, with an average diameter of approximately 1076 kilometers.
The sun illuminates only a small part of the satellite, forming a relatively bright crescent on the right.
However, the night side – everything to the left of the crescent – does not look completely black, and this is due to the fact that it is illuminated by sunlight reflected from Saturn’s atmosphere.
The image was taken by NASA‘s Cassini spacecraft on August 3, 2005.
The surface of Tethys is covered with many craters, the largest of which is the 400-kilometer Odysseus.
This huge but shallow impact formation is shown in the second image (below). The image was taken by Cassini on December 24, 2005.
In addition to craters, the surface of Tethys is “decorated” with large faults and grabens.
The largest known fault, called Ithaca, is a canyon over 2,000 kilometers long and with an average width of about 100 kilometers. The picture (below) was taken by Cassini on September 24, 2005.
Tethys is composed almost entirely of water ice. The existence of a subsurface ocean – a layer of liquid salt water inside Saturn’s moon – is considered unlikely.
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