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Saturn moon Hyperion charging is a Cassini Top 10 discovery of 2014!

18 January 2015

Hyperion

Research about Hyperion's Electrostatically Charged Surface led by CPS member Dr Tom Nordheim (MSSL) and fellow CPS members Prof. Andrew Coates and Dr Geraint Jones makes the Cassini team’s top picks for the mission’s 10 most interesting science findings of 2014

In 2005, the Cassini spacecraft received the equivalent of a 200 volt electric shock from the electrostatically charged surface of Saturn’s moon, Hyperion, confirming that objects in the outer Solar System can have charged surfaces, according to UCL CPS research. The study, published in Geophysical Research Letters in October last year, reports that Cassini was briefly magnetically connected to the surface of Hyperion, allowing it to be caught by a beam of electrons coming from the moon’s surface. Further information on the team's research is reported in a UCL news article.

  • Image: View of Hyperion obtained during Cassini's close flyby on 26th September 2005 (Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute)

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