Latest Cassini–Huygens timeline Stories

2010-08-14 07:00:00

NASA's Cassini spacecraft started hunting for heat signatures at the "tiger stripes" in the dim south polar region of Saturn's moon Enceladus on Friday, Aug. 13. The closest approach will bring the spacecraft to within about 2,500 kilometers (1,600 miles) of the surface of Enceladus. The tiger stripes -- which are actually giant fissures that spew jets of water vapor and organic particles hundreds of kilometers, or miles, out into space - are hard to see in the visible-light spectrum because...

2010-08-13 07:56:14

Saturn's moon Titan ripples with mountains, and scientists have been trying to figure out how they form. The best explanation, it turns out, is that Titan is shrinking as it cools, wrinkling up the moon's surface like a raisin. A new model developed by scientists working with radar data obtained by NASA's Cassini spacecraft shows that differing densities in the outermost layers of Titan can account for the unusual surface behavior. Titan is slowly cooling because it is releasing heat from its...

2010-07-30 06:00:00

A new study finds that the mysterious equatorial dune patterns on Saturn's largest moon, Titan, are the result of gusty winds blowing in the opposite direction of prevailing weather. Titan's vast dunes of tiny organic, hydrocarbon particles cover more than one-fifth of its surface, but one band in particular has puzzled scientists for years. The band's shape suggested it was formed by winds flowing from west to east, despite climate models predicting that surface winds nearly always blow in...

2010-07-20 12:55:00

While orbiting Saturn for the last six years, NASA's Cassini spacecraft has kept a close eye on the collisions and disturbances in the gas giant's rings. They provide the only nearby natural laboratory for scientists to see the processes that must have occurred in our early solar system, as planets and moons coalesced out of disks of debris. New images from Cassini show icy particles in Saturn's F ring clumping into giant snowballs as the moon Prometheus makes multiple swings by the ring. The...

2010-07-16 07:20:00

Ontario Lacus, the largest lake in the southern hemisphere of Saturn's moon Titan, turns out to be a perfect exotic vacation spot, provided you can handle the frosty, subzero temperatures and enjoy soaking in liquid hydrocarbon. Several recent papers by scientists working with NASA's Cassini spacecraft describe evidence of beaches for sunbathing in Titan's low light, sheltered bays for mooring boats, and pretty deltas for wading out in the shallows. They also describe seasonal changes in the...

2010-07-06 14:19:02

As American schoolchildren head out to pools for a summer splash, NASA's Cassini spacecraft will be taking its own deep plunge through the Titan atmosphere this week. The altitude for the upcoming Titan flyby, whose closest approach occurs in the evening of July 6, Pacific and Eastern time (or shortly after midnight on July 7, Coordinated Universal Time) will be about 125 kilometers (78 miles) higher than the super-low flyby of June 21. The altitude of this flyby - 1,005 kilometers (624...

2010-06-18 08:50:00

NASA's Cassini spacecraft will take its lowest dip through the hazy atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan in the early morning of June 21 UTC, which is the evening of June 20 Pacific time. This weekend's flyby, which is the 71st Titan flyby of the mission even though it is known as "T70," takes Cassini 70 kilometers (43 miles) lower than it has ever been at Titan before. Titan's atmosphere applies torque to objects flying through it, much the same way the flow of air would wiggle your hand around...

2010-06-04 07:50:00

NASA's Cassini spacecraft will be eyeing the north polar region of Saturn's moon Titan this weekend, scanning the moon's land o' lakes. At closest approach on early morning Saturday, June 5 UTC, which is Friday afternoon, June 4 Pacific time, Cassini will glide to within about 2,000 kilometers (1,300 miles) of the Titan surface. Cassini will make infrared scans of the north polar region, which was in darkness for the first several years of Cassini's tour around the Saturn system. The lighting...

2010-05-20 09:05:00

NASA's Cassini spacecraft is on its way to a flyby of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, after capturing some stunning images of Enceladus. One view shows the hazy outline of Titan behind Saturn's rings, with the dark curve of Enceladus at the bottom. In other images, Enceladus put its craggy face forward, exhibiting some of the fractures and cratering that have made the Saturnian moon a favorite of both planetary scientists and outer-planet mission groupies. A view of Enceladus' terminator was...

2010-05-17 17:00:00

About a month and a half after its last double flyby, NASA's Cassini spacecraft will be turning another double play this week, visiting the geyser moon Enceladus and the hazy moon Titan. The alignment of the moons means that Cassini can catch glimpses of these two contrasting worlds within less than 48 hours, with no maneuver in between. Cassini will make its closest approach to Enceladus late at night on May 17 Pacific time, which is in the early hours of May 18 UTC. The spacecraft will pass...

Latest Cassini–Huygens timeline Reference Libraries

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Saturn's moon Phoebe -- Phoebe is the outermost of Saturn's known moons. Phoebe is almost 4 times more distant from Saturn than its nearest neighbor (Iapetus). It was discovered by William Henry Pickering in 1898. Most of Saturn's moons have very bright surfaces, but Phoebe's albedo is very low (.06), as dark as lampblack. All of Saturn's moons except for Phoebe and Iapetus orbit very nearly in the plane of Saturn's equator. Phoebe's orbit is retrograde, inclined almost 175, and is...

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Word of the Day
  • A gigantic fictional humanoid alien god being described with a head resembling an octopus and dragon wings and claws, around whom an insane cult developed.
  • Pertaining to the mythos of Cthulhu and additional otherworldly beings created by H. P. Lovecraft or inspired by his writings and imitators.
This word was invented in 1926 by H.P. Lovecraft for his short story, 'The Call of Cthulhu.' 'Cthulhu' may be based on the word 'chthonic,' which in Greek mythology refers to the underworld.