December 17, 2004
Phoebe is about 220 kilometers (140 miles) in diameter. Earth-based
observations indicate Phoebe is almost certainly a captured asteroid, and
did not form from the original Saturn nebula as Saturn's other satellites
did. Unlike the larger Saturnian satellites, Phoebe does not always show
the same face to Saturn. While its orbital period is 550 days, Phoebe¿s
rotation period (length of day) is nine to ten hours. Phoebe orbits
Saturn close to the ecliptic (the plane in which Earth and most other
planets orbit the Sun), rather than in Saturn's equatorial plane as the
other Saturn satellites do. And Phoebe's orbit is retrograde -- in the
direction opposite to that of the other satellites.
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