Photos of the Sun

Hyperion (Saturn). Solar System Satellites

Hyperion (Saturn). Solar System Satellites

Hyperion is a satellite of Saturn and one of the most fascinating celestial bodies in the Solar System. This satellite has been visited by two space probes, Voyager II and more recently Cassini, revealing amazing features. For starters, it has an extremely irregular shape, similar to a potato, and its surface looks like that of a sponge, due to the craters.

In fact, the Hyperion density is very low, so in all likelihood the entire satellite has a structure full of holes. It is one of the largest irregular bodies in the Solar System, and is composed of ice water and a small proportion of rock.

But the most curious thing about Hyperion is its orbit. To begin with, it is in resonance with that of Titan, another moon of Saturn, in a complex system in which they accelerate and brake to, in the end, provoke Titan from four exact turns to Saturn for every three of Hyperion. Due to the strong gravitational interaction that it has with Saturn and Titan, Hyperion's orbit is chaotic, that is, although it is regular, it is really completely unpredictable: it can change in any way at any time.

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Album: Solar System Photos Gallery: Solar System Satellites