Saturn Smackdown! Icy Moons Burned By Radiation And Ions
This global map of Dione, a moon of Saturn, shows dark red in the trailing hemisphere, which is due to radiation and charged particles from Saturn’s intense magnetic environment. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
If you hang out in Saturn’s intense magnetic environment for a while, it’s going to leave a mark. That’s one conclusion from scientists who proudly released new maps yesterday (Dec. 9) of the planet’s icy moons, showing dark blotches on the surfaces of Dione, Rhea, and Tethys.
Cassini has been at Saturn for more than 10 years, and compared to the flyby Voyager mission has given us a greater understanding of what these moons contain. You can see the difference clearly in the maps below; look under the jump and swipe back and forth to see the difference.
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