Chaotic Rotation of Hyperion

Saturn's Moon Hyperion
Saturn's Moon Hyperion

PH30055 MAPLE Coursework

From Newton’s laws it was found that Saturn’s moon Hyperion should be rotating chaotically around Saturn. Although this chaotic rotation is likely it is not guaranteed there are initial conditions for which Hyperion should rotate quasi-periodically. Using measurements from Cassini, Hyperion was indeed confirmed not rotate periodically. Instead, Hyperion rotates chaotically with a Lyapunov timescale of approximately 72 days.

The model was also used to predict the motion of the moons Phobos and Deimos. Unlike Hyperion, for which, the majority of initial conditions produced chaotic rotations Phobos and Deimos were found to spin synchronously for almost all starting conditions.

Hyperion (moon)

Hyperion , also known as Saturn VII (7), is a moon of Saturn discovered by William Cranch Bond, his son George Phillips Bond and William Lassell in 1848. It is distinguished by its irregular shape, its chaotic rotation, and its unexplained sponge-like appearance. It was the first non- round moon to be discovered.

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