/fee"bee/, n.1. Class. Myth. a Titan, daughter of Uranus and Gaea and mother of Leto, later identified with Artemis and with the Roman goddess Diana.2. Astron. one of the moons of Saturn.3. Literary. the moon personified.4. a female given name.
* * *Any of three species (family Tyrannidae, suborder Tyranni) of suboscine passerines with a habit of twitching their tail when perching.The eastern phoebe (Sayornis phoebe) of North America is 7.5 in. (18 cm) long, plain brownish gray above, and paler below. Its call is a brisk "fee-bee" uttered over and over. It makes a mossy nest, strengthened with mud, on a ledge, often under a bridge. Say's phoebe (S. saya), a slightly larger bird with buff-hued underparts, occurs in open country in western North America. The black phoebe (S. nigricans), occurring from the southwestern U.S. to Argentina, is dark above with a white belly.
* * *in Greek mythology, a Titan, daughter of Uranus (Sky) and Gaea (Earth). By the Titan Coeus she was the mother of Leto and grandmother of Apollo and Artemis. She was also the mother of Asteria and Hecate. The family relationships were described by Hesiod (Theogony). Her epithet was Gold-Crowned, but her name, like Apollo's forename Phoebus, signified brightness. In Aeschylus's Eumenides (458 BC) she is said to have given Apollo the rite of his oracle in Delphi. In later mythology she was identified with the moon, as were Artemis and her Roman counterpart Diana. See also Selene.midsized irregular moon of Saturn, discovered by the American astronomer William Henry Pickering (Pickering, William Henry) in 1899 on photographic plates and named for a Titan in Greek mythology.Roughly spherical and about 220 km (136 miles) in diameter, Phoebe has a mean distance from Saturn of about 12,952,000 km (8,050,000 miles), which is several times farther than any of Saturn's other major moons; it takes about 1.5 Earth years to complete one trip around Saturn. Its orbit is significantly eccentric, retrograde, and steeply inclined to the plane of Saturn's rings and regular moons.Phoebe's surface shows large differences in reflectivity but is very dark overall. Infrared spectral observations reveal the presence of water-ice particles mixed with dark material resembling the carbon-rich material seen on primitive C-class asteroids. Some of the moon's craters show evidence of alternating surface layers of bright and dark material. Phoebe has a mean density roughly 1.6 times that of pure water ice, higher than the density of most of Saturn's icy major moons. This finding and Phoebe's irregular orbital properties suggest to some scientists that the moon did not form in orbit around Saturn but was captured after having formed in a more distant orbit from the Sun, where temperatures and carbon-oxygen chemistry were different.William B. Hubbard
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