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   -  Pioneer 11
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Saturn Summary


Saturn Moon: Tethys!

This image of Tethys was taken by Voyager 2 on August 26, 1981. An enormous trench named Ithaca Chasma extends from the left side of this image to the upper center.

Tethys is an icy moon discovered by Giovanni Cassini in 1684. Tethys's low density (1.2) implies that is composed primarily of water ice. The surface has many craters and cracks, the result of repeated pummeling of meteorites s well as surface activity. Tethys is co-orbital with two other moons; that is, they orbit Saturn at the same distance as Tethys but precede (Telesto) and (Calypso).

One landmark on the surface is the Ithaca Chasma that extends three-fourths around Tethys' circumference and is 65 kilometers (40 miles) wide. Many other younger trenches like this exists on the surface. The temperature is measured to be -187 C (-305 F).

Voyager 2 image of Tethys.

This highest-resolution view of Tethys was obtained Aug. 26 when Voyager 2 was 120,000 kilometers from this satellite of Saturn. This image was taken 1 1/2 hours after the spacecraft passed through the planet's ring plane. The smallest features visible here are about 2.2 km. across. The heavily cratered terrain implies a very old surface that has changed little since shortly after the solar system formed. Tethys is a bright object made largely of ice; it has a diameter of about 1,050 km.

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