Cassini imaged Tethys above the moon’s south pole last month. Crater Melanthius, the largest seen here, has the elongated peak in the middle. Why would that be?
I can’t explain why these icy little worlds fascinate me. Maybe it was looking at snow drifts, making snowballs, and playing winter space explorer when I was a kid. I didn’t imagine myself on Tethys, one-third the moon’s diameter. More usually it was the Martian polar cap.
This moon has significant mysteries: dark bands across its equatorial regions, a large valley, suspected tectonic activity, and the like. Except for Enceladus, Saturn’s icy moons won’t be prime targets of the Cassini mission for the next two years. Too bad, but also maybe not. The unknown still leaves some room to dream.