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Latest Carolyn Porco Stories

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2006-03-29 17:17:22

Scientists with NASA's Cassini mission have found evidence that a new class of small moonlets resides within Saturn's rings. There may be as many as 10 million of these objects within one of Saturn's rings alone. The moonlets' existence could help answer the question of whether Saturn's rings were formed through the break-up of a larger body or are the remnants of the disk of material from which Saturn and its moons formed. "These moonlets are likely to be chunks of the ancient body whose...

2006-03-09 17:20:00

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent WASHINGTON -- One of Saturn's moons, Enceladus, is spewing out a giant plume of water vapor that is probably feeding one of the planet's rings, scientists said on Thursday. The findings, published in the journal Science, suggest that tiny Enceladus could have a liquid ocean under its icy surface which in theory could sustain primitive life, similar to Jupiter's moon Europa. The plume was spotted by Cassini, a joint U.S.-European spacecraft that...

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2006-03-09 12:30:00

JPL -- NASA's Cassini spacecraft may have found evidence of liquid water reservoirs that erupt in Yellowstone-like geysers on Saturn's moon Enceladus. The rare occurrence of liquid water so near the surface raises many new questions about the mysterious moon. "We realize that this is a radical conclusion -- that we may have evidence for liquid water within a body so small and so cold," said Dr. Carolyn Porco, Cassini imaging team leader at Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo. "However, if...

2005-12-06 17:25:00

WASHINGTON -- One of Saturn's moons is spraying icy particles into space from the area around its south pole, a sure sign of geologic activity, NASA reported on Tuesday. Recent images captured by the Cassini spacecraft reveal what looks at first like the narrow crescent shape of a solar eclipse, with plumes of particles being ejected from the Saturn moon Enceladus. "For planetary explorers like us, there is little that can compare to the sighting of activity on another solar system body,"...

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2005-12-06 13:25:00

JPL -- Jets of fine, icy particles streaming from Saturn's moon Enceladus were captured in recent images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. The images provide unambiguous visual evidence the moon is geologically active. "For planetary explorers like us, there is little that can compare to the sighting of activity on another solar system body," said Dr. Carolyn Porco, Cassini imaging team leader at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo. "This has been a heart-stopper, and surely one of...

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2005-09-17 09:55:00

JPL -- Scientists are celebrating the first Cassini spacecraft sighting of spokes, the ghostly radial markings discovered in Saturn's rings by NASA's Voyager spacecraft 25 years ago. A sequence of images taken on the side of the rings not illuminated by the sun has captured a few faint, narrow spokes in the outer B ring, about 3,500 kilometers long and about 100 kilometers wide (2,200 miles by 60 miles). Previously, scientists believed the visibility of spokes depended on the elevation of...

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2005-09-06 17:28:02

NASA -- Evidence is mounting that the atmosphere of Enceladus, first detected by the Cassini Magnetometer instrument, is the result of venting from ground fractures close to the moon's south pole. New findings from the close flyby of Enceladus by Cassini this past July add to the emerging picture of a small icy body, unusual in its past and present level of activity, and very different from all other icy Saturnian moons. Within a minute of closest approach to Enceladus on July 14th, 2005,...

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2005-06-28 13:10:00

NASA -- Scientists are fascinated by a dark, lake-like feature recently observed on Saturn's moon Titan. NASA's Cassini spacecraft captured a series of images showing a marking, darker than anything else around it. It is remarkably lake-like, with smooth, shore-like boundaries unlike any seen previously on Titan. "I'd say this is definitely the best candidate we've seen so far for a liquid hydrocarbon lake on Titan," said Dr. Alfred McEwen, Cassini imaging team member and a professor at the...

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2005-05-10 16:40:00

JPL -- In a spectacular kick-off to its first season of prime ring viewing, which began last month, the Cassini spacecraft has confirmed earlier suspicions of an unseen moon hidden in a gap in Saturn's outer A ring. A new image and movie show the new moon and the waves it raises in the surrounding ring material. The moon, provisionally named S/2005 S1, was first seen in a time-lapse sequence of images taken on May 1, 2005, as Cassini began its climb to higher inclinations in orbit around...

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2005-03-09 12:45:00

NASA -- Saturn's largest and hazy moon, Titan, has a surface shaped largely by Earth-like processes of tectonics, erosion, winds, and perhaps volcanism. The findings are published in this week's issue of the journal Nature. Titan, long held to be a frozen analog of early Earth, has liquid methane on its cold surface, unlike the water found on our home planet. Among the new discoveries is what may be a long river, roughly 1,500 kilometers long (930 miles). Scientists have also concluded...


Word of the Day
barratry
  • The offense of persistently instigating lawsuits, typically groundless ones.
  • An unlawful breach of duty on the part of a ship's master or crew resulting in injury to the ship's owner.
  • Sale or purchase of positions in church or state.
This word ultimately comes from the Old French word 'barater,' to cheat.
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