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Phoebe

Image of Phoebe
PHOEBE: Phoebe's orbit around Saturn is in the opposite direction than the orbits of most objects in the Solar System. This suggests Phoebe was a captured object, trapped by Saturn’s gravitational pull and brought into orbit. Scientist’s think Phoebe might have been part of an ancestral population of small, icy bodies called Centaurs which originated in the outer Solar System but migrated inward. They are considered a kind of intermediate type of small body, neither quite an asteroid nor a comet. Centaurs are of extreme interest to scientists because they are thought to be primordial objects—leftovers of Solar System formation that never pulled into a planet. If indeed it is a captured Centaur, then images and scientific data of Phoebe taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft will give scientists the first opportunity to study a Centaur. No enhancement was performed on this image. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
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