Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso


  • Therese Encrenaz
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_1576-3


Tethys is one of the midsized icy satellites of Saturn. Discovered by Giovanni Domenico Cassini in 1684, it orbits at a distance of 294,700 km (or 4.9 Saturnian radii) from Saturn. Its diameter is 1,060 km. Images taken by the Voyager 2 spacecraft in 1981 show a variety of terrains, with some ancient, heavily cratered regions including the large Odysseus basin that is over 400 km in diameter and a more recent, remodeled surface with a large canyon, Ithaca Chasma, which is about 1,000 km long and 100 km wide. The density of Tethys is 1.0 g/cm3, which indicates a rather pure water-ice satellite. Two other small satellites, Calypso and Telesto, are located on the same orbit as Tethys.

On Earth, the so-called Tethys ocean separated the continents of Gondwana and Laurasia during the Mesozoic.

See Also


Bioorganic Chemistry Small Satellite Tethys Ocean Remodel Surface Large Canyon 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LESIA – Bâtiment ISO (n°17)Observatoire de Paris – Section de MeudonMeudonFrance