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The nerve of one animal
Night of the living ants
Tropical Birds
Chemistry and Materials
Atomic Drive
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Earth from the inside out
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Ancient Heights
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Shrimpy Invaders
Swimming with Sharks and Stingrays
The Oily Gulf
Finding the Past
Untangling Human Origins
Chicken of the Sea
Sahara Cemetery
Saltwater Fish
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Food and Nutrition
Moving Good Fats from Fish to Mice
Symbols from the Stone Age
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Finding Subjects and Verbs
Whoever vs. Whomever
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Dust Mites
Asian Elephants
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Thinner Air, Less Splatter
Hold on to your stars, ladies and gentlemen
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Fungus Hunt
Surprise Visitor
Garter Snakes
Space and Astronomy
Big Galaxy Swallows Little Galaxy
An Earthlike Planet
Killers from Outer Space
Technology and Engineering
Squeezing Oil from Old Wells
Young Scientists Take Flight
Crime Lab
The Parts of Speech
Problems with Prepositions
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Reach for the Sky
How to Fly Like a Bat
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A Dire Shortage of Water
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Saturn's Spongy Moon

Saturn has a lot going for it. The planet's spectacular rings are pretty cool. It has 31 moons, maybe more. Its largest moon, Titan, even has its own atmosphere. One of its smaller moons, Hyperion, looks like a potato and tumbles strangely as it orbits the planet. Now, the Cassini spacecraft, which is in orbit around Saturn, has taken the first close-up pictures of Hyperion. And the view is surprising. Hyperion is 266 kilometers (165 miles) across, and it has an irregular shape. Much of its inside is probably empty space. Scientists describe the moon as a "rubble pile." On Sept. 26, Cassini swooped to within 500 kilometers (310 miles) of the icy moon. The close-up images showed that Hyperion's surface is unlike that of any of the planet's other moons. They revealed a reddish surface dotted with craters and changed by some unknown process to give it a spongy look. Some Cassini researchers suspect that the spongelike appearance is a result of closely packed craters that were never filled in. Usually, when craters form, debris falls back into the holes. The gravity from nearby Titan, however, may have prevented that from happening.E. Sohn

Saturn's Spongy Moon
Saturn's Spongy Moon

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