# Iapetus: A Moon With A View

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by btimsah, Feb 22, 2005.

1. ### btimsahRegistered Senior Member

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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.

2. ### btimsahRegistered Senior Member

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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.

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.

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

3. ### Starthane Xyzthreturns occasionally...Valued Senior Member

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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...

4. ### btimsahRegistered Senior Member

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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..

5. ### KennyJCRegistered Senior Member

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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.

6. ### btimsahRegistered Senior Member

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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

7. ### OphioliteValued Senior Member

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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.

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9. ### btimsahRegistered Senior Member

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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.

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11. ### btimsahRegistered Senior Member

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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.

12. ### Starthane Xyzthreturns occasionally...Valued Senior Member

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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 if you're interested.

13. ### LaikaSpace BitchRegistered Senior Member

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Btsimah, what do you mean by that?

14. ### blobranaRegistered Senior Member

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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...

15. ### OphioliteValued Senior Member

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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.

16. ### btimsahRegistered Senior Member

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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

17. ### btimsahRegistered Senior Member

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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?

18. ### btimsahRegistered Senior Member

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I'm gonna kill Oph later, but at this time he is correct. 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?

19. ### blobranaRegistered Senior Member

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@btimsah

Hum,
i suspect you have never visited the Antarctic and got snow blindness.

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...

It’s just simple physics...
(or clever aliens got there first)

Alien Solar cooking guide: