View Full Version : Iapetus: A Moon With A View


btimsah
02-22-05, 12:41 AM
http://www.enterprisemission.com/moon1.htm

Richard Hoagland is suggesting that Iapetus is an artificial object, put into orbit. While I do think he goes too far, Iapetus does have an unusual reflection and it does seem like some knew how odd this Moon was BEFORE these photos. What I find more interesting is the mountain-range or buldge around the moon.

Just curious if any of you had read this, and what you thought about it?

btimsah
02-22-05, 01:24 AM
Wow, I believe in the article above he states the Iapetus must have lighted up tremendously or something to that fact. I did find this rather cool image, I mean look at that lumination.. Is this unusual to anyone else? I mean, I'm not an astronomer so I was curious if this was unusual to anyone else.

http://img213.exs.cx/img213/7067/n000228831fz.jpg

Also, this one below.. is the star-like feature Iapetus? I did a search through their raw images for only Iapetus so it should be.

http://img213.exs.cx/img213/3329/w000021111db.th.jpg (http://img213.exs.cx/my.php?loc=img213&image=w000021111db.jpg)

BTW, I don't want people to think I'm claiming it's alien. I'm just curious about it.

Starthane Xyzth
02-22-05, 01:29 AM
Arthur C. Clarke speculated, in the novel "2001: A Space Odyssey", that Iapetus' unusually piebald reflectivity was due to an alien construct covering part of one hemisphere: what he called the Eye of Iapetus. The second Monolith orbited just above it.

He was writing a decade & a half before the Voyager probes arrived, of course. And in the movie, the Monolith wasn't in the Saturnian system at all...

btimsah
02-22-05, 02:06 AM
Arthur C. Clarke speculated, in the novel "2001: A Space Odyssey", that Iapetus' unusually piebald reflectivity was due to an alien construct covering part of one hemisphere: what he called the Eye of Iapetus. The second Monolith orbited just above it.

He was writing a decade & a half before the Voyager probes arrived, of course. And in the movie, the Monolith wasn't in the Saturnian system at all...

Interesting.. He probably just combined some interesting scientific fact with fiction to make a cool story. Unless he had some inside intel, and used to make him seem prophetic after death..

I've AM reading about this right now and I am finally starting to understand what Hoagland is trying to say. The radar aboard the cassini spacecraft thinks Iapetus is a uniform object. It's the same on both sides.. Secondly, the idea that the Moon itself is made to reflect incoming rays. Like stealthy.. Im no expert on this stuff so I'm learning as I go.

It's interesting how he notices the lack of interest in Iapetus. I, too have thought NASA/JPL seem to avoid anything sensational. lol.. :rolleyes:

KennyJC
02-22-05, 06:20 AM
Well there are one or two strange things about the moon. But I just refuse to believe when he goes as far to suggest it is an ancient alien space ship. But there does appear to be some odd straight lines on the surface and even the shape of the planet itself.

As for the mountain ridge along the equator, could that not just be a case of a huge meteor impact that ripped the planet open, and gravity slammed it back together forming that ridge?

I want to believe what he says, but sadly I think it's more likely to be just an odd bit of rock that has never seen any life.

btimsah
02-22-05, 09:29 AM
I would find the idea that perhaps the surface of this Moon was altered BY ALIENS to be more believable than the entire Moon being AN ALIEN MACHINE. Iapetus is bigger than the Earth, right? So I don't think any civilization could or would create anything that large..... :bugeye:

Iapetus so brightly reflect's light that it generates heat. Right??

Look at this shot: http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/images/raw/casJPGFullS07/N00026442.jpg

Ophiolite
02-22-05, 10:23 AM
btimsah. The 'wall' on Iapetus is an 'anomalous structure'. I cannot readily explain it. Please limit future discussions of 'anomalous structures' to objects of comparable peculiarity..
My best guess (probability it is correct <15%) is the planet briefly came apart when hit by the object that created the 'eye' of Iapetus. As it crunched back together the 'wall' was the result.

So I don't think any civilization could or would create anything that large.....Just when things get interesting you chicken out. Of course a civilisation could create something this size. It's really quite small. I don't think it is artificial (I wish it was), but try not to limit your imagination so.

blobrana
02-22-05, 11:34 AM
Crust shrinking?

Best view of Iapetus:
http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/jpeg/PIA06145.jpg

Nasty impact events seen on suface here:
http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/jpeg/PIA06100.jpg

btimsah
02-22-05, 07:08 PM
btimsah. The 'wall' on Iapetus is an 'anomalous structure'. I cannot readily explain it. Please limit future discussions of 'anomalous structures' to objects of comparable peculiarity..
My best guess (probability it is correct <15%) is the planet briefly came apart when hit by the object that created the 'eye' of Iapetus. As it crunched back together the 'wall' was the result.
Just when things get interesting you chicken out. Of course a civilisation could create something this size. It's really quite small. I don't think it is artificial (I wish it was), but try not to limit your imagination so.


Let me rephrase then, there's no reason to create one when there are so many naturally made ones.. lol. It would figure, the one time I AM MUNDANE, I am asked to not be so close minded. Why leap to such a sensational idea as it being a space station, when the idea that the surface was terraformed would seem much simpler. I'm going to show my ingorance about astronomy here, but could any civilization create any object in space that has it's own gravitational field? I have a hard time fathoming (is that a word?) such a thing.

blobrana
02-22-05, 08:10 PM
Lol ,
Well there are one or two strange things about Richard Hoagland...

http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/misc/hoagland/

(er, for the amusement of those that arn`t aware)

btimsah
02-22-05, 11:42 PM
Yeah, I think Hoagland goes a bit too far. His bizzare theory about glass structures above the Moon really loses me. There's like one image, which has some fuzzy, dirty spot above the moon, so he grabs it and starts yelling it's a structure. The image zooms he does on Iapetus are a prime example. There's just not enough high quality close shots of the surface of Iapetus to accurately pickup something when considering how far in he has to zoom to find "surface anomalies".

This is a complicated topic, but typically I always seem to disagree with him.

Starthane Xyzth
02-23-05, 01:18 AM
Iapetus is bigger than the Earth, right? So I don't think any civilization could or would create anything that large..... :bugeye:

Bigger than Earth?!? I'm afraid not, friend. The radius of Iapetus is only 730 km, little over a 10th that of Earth and less than half that of the Moon. In fact, it would take well over 2000 Iapetuses to match our planet's weight.

Here's the Iapetus statistics (http://www.solarviews.com/span/iapetus.htm) if you're interested.

Laika
02-23-05, 03:50 AM
Iapetus so brightly reflect's light that it generates heat. Right??

Btsimah, what do you mean by that?

blobrana
02-23-05, 04:00 AM
Hum,
i think he means that the surface on one side is almost as bright as snow...
And i suppose you could fashion a ice lens or snow mirror to focus light to boil, say, a cup of tea...

Ophiolite
02-23-05, 06:00 AM
Laika, what btimsah means - forgive me btimsah - is that he has a limited scientific education, yet a great thirst for knowledge. This leads to occasional whacky thoughts and gross errors.

BTIMSAH - re Iapetus as an artificial construct. Please read carefuly what I said. I do not believe it is an artificial construct, nor that it was shaped by and modified by artificial means. I stated that there is no reason an advanced civilisation should not create an object of that size.
You ask 'could any civilisation create in space an object that has its own gravitational field?' Well, why not? We do it all the time on Earth. Every structure we put up will modify the Earth's gravitational field by a small amount. The pyramids have a readily detectable effect, for example. I'm at a loss to see why you think this should be intrinsically impossible. Could you explain further?
(And for an idea of what a civilisation might do, read Larry Niven's Ringworld series.)

Edit: re my opening paragraph. My own whacky thoughts and gross errors derive from a more extended scientific education.

btimsah
02-23-05, 05:28 PM
Bigger than Earth?!? I'm afraid not, friend. The radius of Iapetus is only 730 km, little over a 10th that of Earth and less than half that of the Moon. In fact, it would take well over 2000 Iapetuses to match our planet's weight.

Here's the Iapetus statistics (http://www.solarviews.com/span/iapetus.htm) if you're interested.

Yeah, I kinda saw out of the corner of my something about the mass of Iapetus and the mass of the Earth that was incorrect. So, maybe it is an advanced alien structure, put into space so Richard Hoagland can find it.. lol :D

btimsah
02-23-05, 05:29 PM
Hum,
i think he means that the surface on one side is almost as bright as snow...
And i suppose you could fashion a ice lens or snow mirror to focus light to boil, say, a cup of tea...

Well, yeah. Would that not be extremely valuable? To coat the surface of one of you're planets moon with a material that made it reflect so much light that it acted like a mini-sun? Is that even possible?

btimsah
02-23-05, 05:32 PM
Laika, what btimsah means - forgive me btimsah - is that he has a limited scientific education, yet a great thirst for knowledge. This leads to occasional whacky thoughts and gross errors.

BTIMSAH - re Iapetus as an artificial construct. Please read carefuly what I said. I do not believe it is an artificial construct, nor that it was shaped by and modified by artificial means. I stated that there is no reason an advanced civilisation should not create an object of that size.
You ask 'could any civilisation create in space an object that has its own gravitational field?' Well, why not? We do it all the time on Earth. Every structure we put up will modify the Earth's gravitational field by a small amount. The pyramids have a readily detectable effect, for example. I'm at a loss to see why you think this should be intrinsically impossible. Could you explain further?
(And for an idea of what a civilisation might do, read Larry Niven's Ringworld series.)

Edit: re my opening paragraph. My own whacky thoughts and gross errors derive from a more extended scientific education.

I'm gonna kill Oph later, but at this time he is correct. :o I was incorrect as to how big Iapetus is, so I have no idea IF THEY WOULD create a structure that size. I suppose the thing I am missing is the WHY. You COULD build almost anything, but without a WHY it's just something cool to say.

Everyone answer me this; What beneifits would Iapetus bring, if it was artificial?

blobrana
02-23-05, 05:53 PM
@btimsah

Hum,
i suspect you have never visited the Antarctic and got snow blindness.
http://www.answers.com/topic/iapetus-moon


The surface of Iapetus is covered in ice (frozen water and ammonia etc), which is quite reflective;
so if you could `landscape` the craters to reflect back (and bring to a focus) any light that fell on them then you could create a small solar cooker...


Itís just simple physics...
(or clever aliens got there first)

Alien Solar cooking guide:
http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles/radabaugh30.html

btimsah
02-24-05, 12:05 AM
We should send a lander to Iapetus, and put ski's on it. :)

Ophiolite
02-24-05, 07:09 AM
Alien Solar cooking guide:
http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles/radabaugh30.html
Re this alien cooking guide, I'm disappointed. I read the entire article and several of the links. Nowhere does it tell me how to cook an alien! You are a fraud Blobrana!! ;)

Starthane Xyzth
02-24-05, 11:54 AM
You don't need to cook them... they can be eaten raw. The thing is, being most likely composed of different amino acids from us, their flesh might be completely useless to humans as a nutritional food.

Silas
03-01-05, 09:12 AM
Yeah, I think Hoagland goes a bit too far. His bizzare theory about glass structures above the Moon really loses me. There's like one image, which has some fuzzy, dirty spot above the moon, so he grabs it and starts yelling it's a structure. The image zooms he does on Iapetus are a prime example. There's just not enough high quality close shots of the surface of Iapetus to accurately pickup something when considering how far in he has to zoom to find "surface anomalies".

This is a complicated topic, but typically I always seem to disagree with him.
Anyone else find this post particularly ironic? I mean, I read the post with the main body at the top of my screen, and I immediately thought, "I wonder if btimsah has read this?" Then I scrolled up and found that Tim was the author of it, this left me somewhat gobsmacked!

Dammit, I just posted about Iapetus's anomalous status on another thread, only to find this one specifically dedicated to the subject! And everyone better informed than I thought I was!

Pete
03-01-05, 11:57 PM
That ridge is a puzzle.
I wonder if it circles the whole planetoid, or if it's only on the darker half?
Actually, it doesn't appear to cross the whole dark side, but stops before reaching the basin on the right-hand side of this image (http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA06166). I could be mistaken - need more images!

btimsah
03-02-05, 01:01 AM
Anyone else find this post particularly ironic? I mean, I read the post with the main body at the top of my screen, and I immediately thought, "I wonder if btimsah has read this?" Then I scrolled up and found that Tim was the author of it, this left me somewhat gobsmacked!

Dammit, I just posted about Iapetus's anomalous status on another thread, only to find this one specifically dedicated to the subject! And everyone better informed than I thought I was!

:D Cuzz Iapetus is a strange Moon.

btimsah
03-02-05, 01:07 AM
That ridge is a puzzle.
I wonder if it circles the whole planetoid, or if it's only on the darker half?
Actually, it doesn't appear to cross the whole dark side, but stops before reaching the basin on the right-hand side of this image (http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA06166). I could be mistaken - need more images!

Don't we all! I am serious about sending a probe to Iapetus. Or, okay even titan to get some HIGH QUALITY surface shots. So I can find alien ruins.. :D

Here are the raw images of Iapetus: http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/images/raw/raw-images-list.cfm?browseLatest=0&cacheQ=0&storedQ=0

I'm assuming that link will last, which it may not. Then again maybe it will. Well, actually I have no idea if it will or not. I'm just confident that it will work long enough that some of you will get use out of it, untill it's bad. Of course, if only a few get access to the successfull link then it's completely unfair to those who did not. I am now considering removing the link completely.

Here's my solution! If the link dies go here and do you're own damn search! :D

http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/images/raw/index.cfm

eburacum45
03-02-05, 02:18 AM
I think it is a sign that this moon has been split apart long ago, by an impact; then collapsed back onto itself. This sort of process has led to the interesting patterns on Miranda.
But Iapetus has long been known to be anomalous, because its high contrasted hemispheres can be detected from Earth; Arthur Clarke made Iapetus the target of the Discovery mission in the novelisation of 2001 for this reason.

Incidentally it would take a big mirror to collect enough energy to sustain a human habitat or colony at Iapetus' distance from the Sun;
but in free fall, mirrors can be arbitrarily large.
Actually, if I were to design a colony in Saturn space, I'd rely on electrical energy generated from Saturn's magnetic field for life support; the sunlight is weak at Saturn's distance, and the magnetic field is extensive.

Starthane Xyzth
03-03-05, 06:43 AM
Looking at that incredible equatorial ridge Iapetus has, it's tempting to imagine the whole satellite being squeezed in a vice, clamped on the poles - instead of deforming smoothly it cracked open at the equator, and plastic mantle ices oozed out. If Iapetus were scaled up to the size of Earth, that ridge would be well over 100 km in height!

A pole-to-pole compression of the satellite might be accomplished by... well, I honestly can't think of anything reasonable!

Pete
03-03-05, 05:16 PM
If the ridge was formed away from the equator, would the planet's spin change over time to bring the ridge on to equator (or the equator to the ridge)?

Starthane Xyzth
03-05-05, 06:00 AM
That's a good point - though I suppose the strong tidal bulges induced by Saturn must make changes in the rotational axis difficult.

The ridge could represent a really drastic form of plate tectonism, which froze up early in Iapetus' history.

btimsah
03-11-05, 05:51 PM
I found an interestingly, blue/yellow area on Iapetus;

<a href="http://img71.exs.cx/my.php?loc=img71&image=pia06167topcenter2gk.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://img71.exs.cx/img71/9295/pia06167topcenter2gk.th.jpg" border="0" alt="Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us" /></a>

I was curious if this could be an image problem, but it's not really noticable anywhere else in the image. The original file is here;

http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA06167

Starthane Xyzth
03-13-05, 02:30 AM
I'm almost certain the blue & yellow tints are an artefactof the imaging process, yes.

The original file you linked has a very nice picture - and that level of detail really shows how the dark stain over half of Iapetus must have been deposited externally (though I don't suppose its inconceivable that the bright material is actually the deposit and the natural crust is dark...)

Some have even suggested that the black stuff (cosmic tobacco char?) wafted inward from Phoebe, which is about 3 times further from Saturn than Iapetus...

btimsah
03-13-05, 10:55 PM
I'm almost certain the blue & yellow tints are an artefactof the imaging process, yes.

The original file you linked has a very nice picture - and that level of detail really shows how the dark stain over half of Iapetus must have been deposited externally (though I don't suppose its inconceivable that the bright material is actually the deposit and the natural crust is dark...)

Some have even suggested that the black stuff (cosmic tobacco char?) wafted inward from Phoebe, which is about 3 times further from Saturn than Iapetus...

Perhaps some liquid from Saturn escaped lol.. :) Other than Aliens' spraying this material on Iapetus, what other possible explanation's can there be for the dark stain?

As for the color, I'll accept that it's an artifact. There are no other images in which the same can be seen or verified. Of course, that image is the only COLOR image of that area that I know of. Just wait for prettier images. I know I spelled that wrong, but who cares?

Starthane Xyzth
03-14-05, 03:24 AM
Of course, that image is the only COLOR image of that area that I know of. Just wait for prettier images. I know I spelled that wrong, but who cares?

Spelt what wrong? The comparative form of the adjective pretty is indeed prettier, and modern English usage recognizes color as correct spelling along with colour.

From a pure emotional perspective, the bleakness and deadness of those remote worlds which Cassini is imaging seems even more profound when you think that they have almost no natural colours - except for Titan of course, and Saturn itself.