Why is this moon shaped like a smooth egg?
The robotic Cassini spacecraft completed the first flyby ever of Saturn's small moon
in May and discovered that the moon has no obvious craters.
Craters, usually caused by impacts, have been seen on every
asteroid, and comet nucleus
ever imaged in detail -- until now.
Even the Earth and
The smoothness and egg-like shape of the
3-kilometer diameter moon might be caused by
surface being able to shift --
something that might occur were the moon coated by a deep
pile of sub-visual
If so, the most similar objects in our Solar System would include Saturn's moons
Calypso, as well as asteroid
all of which show sections that are unusually smooth.
is not entirely featureless, though, as some surface sections
appears darker than others.
Although flybys of Methone are
difficult, interest in the nature and
history of this unusual moon is sure to continue.
Cassini Imaging Team,