Moon with a View : Or What Did Arthur Know and When Did He Know it?

Moon with a View: Or, What Did Arthur Know … and When Did He Know it?
By Richard C. Hoagland
© 2005 The Enterprise Mission
“The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them … into the impossible.”
— Clarke’s Second Law
… the ship had long since passed the boundary set by outermost Phoebe, moving backward in a wildly eccentric orbit eight million miles from its primary.  Ahead of it now lay Iapetus, Hyperion, Titan, Rhea, Dione, Tethys, Enceladus, Mimas, Janus – and the rings themselves.  All the satellites showed a maze of surface detail …  Titan alone – three thousand miles in diameter, and as large as Mercury – would occupy … months …
There was more; already he was certain that Iapetus was his goal.
… One hemisphere of the satellite, which, like its companions, turned the same face always toward Saturn, was extremely dark, and showed very little surface detail.  In complete contrast, the other was dominated by a brilliant white oval, about four hundred miles long and two hundred wide.  At the moment, only part of this striking formation was in daylight, but the reason for Iapetus’s extraordinary variations in brilliance was now quite obvious ….

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6


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