An extremely close pass will be made to the NASA probe Cassini on Hyperion, one of Saturn’s strangest moons. The probe will pass the tumbling, irregular space rock and take some photos this Sunday, according to the IB Times.
Cassini passed Hyperion a number of times during its latest mission. On its last approach at approximately 9:36am, the probe is expected to come within 21,000 miles of the peculiar moon. Two days are the expected time for the images to reach NASA after the encounter. Researchers are expectant they will find new details regarding the strange space rock.
Measuring about 168 miles in diameter, Hyperion rotates in a chaotic and tumbling way, described by NASA as “unpredictable” said in a statement Friday. The space agency is chiefly fascinated with how the moon’s unique surface is able to affect the chaotic rotation hoping to become more familiar with the rocky moon‘s contours.
Previous passes showed the same side of Hyperion and scientists are hopeful that this pass will be able to provide a preview of the dark side rarely seen by humans.
Having a spongy texture with an extremely low density, half of Hyperion is assumed to be made of water making its low density result to a weak gravity.
September 2005, was the last time Cassini got this close to Hyperion, when an icy spray which emanated from one of Saturn’s other moons Enceladus, was discovered. As we await the new photographs of the strange moon Hyperion, we can only hope the Cassini probe will be able to reveal the secrets Hyperion hide.