Exploring the Planets

The Small Satellites


Although similar in composition to the large icy moons, the small satellites of Saturn are much more irregular in shape. Hyperion, shown here in a photo taken by Voyager 2, is a highly cratered body of dirty ice.


NASA Press Release #P23936.

Saturn’s Satellite Hyperion

Cassini view of Hyperion. The moon has a very low density and is thought to be made up largely of water ice with a very porous interior. Its rotation is abnormal as it tumbles chaotically along its orbit.

The Face of Phoebe

The small moon Phoebe is thought to be made up mostly of ice covered by a thin layer of dark material.

Voyager images of some of Saturn's small moons. Several of the smaller satellites have unique orbits, ranging from the backwards, or retrograde, orbit of Phoebe to the tiny moons that actually share the same orbit.

Saturn's Small Moons

NASA Press Release #P24061.