Check out this stunningly crispy photo of Saturn moon’s Hyperion — taken by the Cassini spacecraft. Apparently it is inhabited by alien wasps the size of cars or at least it looks like a wasp nest to me. So gross!* New analysis of Cassini’s data reveal that, if there are giant alien wasps, they are producing electrons.
From the Jet Propulsion Laboratory:
A new analysis of data from NASA’s Cassini mission has revealed that, during a 2005 flyby of Saturn’s moon Hyperion, the spacecraft was briefly bathed in a beam of electrons coming from the moon’s electrostatically charged surface.
Hyperion is porous and icy, with a bizarre, sponge-like appearance. Its surface is continuously bombarded by ultraviolet light from the sun and exposed to a rain of charged particles — electrons and ions — within the invisible bubble generated by Saturn’s magnetic field, called the magnetosphere. The researchers think Hyperion’s exposure to this hostile space environment is the source of the particle beam that struck Cassini.
* Bizarre sponge or giant wasp nest, if you have trypophobia (fear of surfaces full of holes) you will hate it just the same. I know I do. Looking at it makes me cringe.