Quantcast

Latest Carolyn Porco Stories

2008-07-31 06:00:03

By Philip Haldiman, The Arizona Daily Star, Tucson Jul. 31--Our planet isn't the only heavenly body with liquid on its surface. Scientists from the University of Arizona and NASA on Wednesday announced at least one of the large, lakelike features on a moon of Saturn is wet. The moon, Titan, contains liquid hydrocarbons and ethane, scientists said. Besides Earth, this makes Titan the only known body in our solar system with liquid on its surface, NASA said in a press release. The...

66159b1a8247c83c3d69f70f146b3f8d1
2008-03-13 12:55:00

NASA's Cassini spacecraft performed a daring flyby of Saturn's moon Enceladus on Wed., March 12, flying about 15 kilometers per second (32,000 mph) through icy water geyser-like jets. The spacecraft snatched up precious samples that might point to a water ocean or organics inside the little moon. Scientists believe the geysers could provide evidence that liquid water is trapped under the icy crust of Enceladus. The geysers emanate from fractures running along the moon's south pole, spewing...

2007-12-09 14:34:22

The formation of strange flying-saucer-shaped moons embedded in Saturn's rings have baffled scientists. New findings suggest they're born largely from clumps of icy particles in the rings themselves, an insight that could shed light on how Earth and other planets coalesced from the disk of matter that once surrounded our newborn sun. Saturn's rings orbit the planet in a flat disk that corresponds to the planet's equator. Likewise, Earth and the other planets orbit the sun in a fairly flat...

f3986aec6d996e51bd4b7e8eb179af55
2007-12-06 16:20:57

Imaging scientists on NASA's Cassini mission are telling a tale of how the small moons orbiting near the outer rings of Saturn came to be. The moons began as leftover shards from larger bodies that broke apart and filled out their "figures" with the debris that made the rings. It has long been suspected that Saturn's rings formed in the disintegration of one or several large icy bodies, perhaps pre-existing moons, by giant impacts. The resulting debris quickly spread and settled into the...

cabf1a18c8ba3ff187745bf1efbd7fdd1
2007-10-10 17:40:00

A recent analysis of images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft provides conclusive evidence that the jets of fine, icy particles spraying from Saturn's moon Enceladus originate from the hottest spots on the moon's "tiger stripe" fractures that straddle the moon's south polar region. Members of Cassini's imaging team used two years' worth of pictures of the geologically active moon to locate the sources of the most prominent jets spouting from the moon's surface. They then compared these surface...

31d7d053ad1ec3935a96fe4aa937f3bc1
2007-09-12 17:35:00

PASADENA, Calif. - Scientists on the Cassini mission to Saturn are poring through hundreds of images returned from the Sept. 10 flyby of Saturn's two-toned moon Iapetus. Pictures returned late Tuesday and early Wednesday show the moon's yin and yang--a white hemisphere resembling snow, and the other as black as tar. Images show a surface that is heavily cratered, along with the mountain ridge that runs along the moon's equator. Many of the close-up observations focused on studying the...

e3d7ef962c824183d7c8dc4bd0183b8d
2007-03-01 14:20:00

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has captured never-before-seen views of Saturn from perspectives high above and below the planet's rings. Over the last several months, the spacecraft has climbed to higher and higher inclinations, providing its cameras with glimpses of the planet and rings that have scientists gushing. "Finally, here are the views that we've waited years for," said Dr. Carolyn Porco, Cassini imaging team leader at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo. "Sailing high above...

d6fd7f3c9eaed65be55474da4bfea4a21
2006-12-14 15:15:00

By ALICIA CHANG, AP Science Writer SAN FRANCISCO - New research casts doubt on the existence of water near the surface of a tiny Saturn moon "” a finding that, if confirmed, could set back the hunt for extraterrestrial life. Earlier this year, the international Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn caused a stir when it spied what appeared to be Yellowstone-like geysers spouting from the south pole of Enceladus. Scientists speculated the eruptions were driven by shallow pools of water...

44e1bfa5eeb6f117ab6adcc300cbdd431
2006-09-19 19:02:59

Saturn sports a new ring in an image taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft on Sunday, Sept. 17, during a one-of-a-kind observation. Other spectacular sights captured by Cassini's cameras include wispy fingers of icy material stretching out tens of thousands of kilometers from the active moon, Enceladus, and a cameo color appearance by planet Earth. The images were obtained during the longest solar occultation of Cassini's four-year mission. During a solar occultation, the sun passes directly...

ab35edeaec2269d7bf34c7624369e4e01
2006-07-06 17:23:45

NASA Cassini spacecraft images of Saturn's diaphanous G and E rings are yielding new clues about their structure and formation. A sequence of recent Cassini images, which has been made into a brief movie, shows an arc of bright material looping around the inside edge of the G ring, a tenuous 7,000-kilometer-wide (4,400 miles) band of dust-sized icy particles lying beyond the F ring by 27,000 kilometers (16,800 miles). Cassini passed between the F and G rings during its insertion into orbit...


Word of the Day
omphalos
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.
Related