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Latest Cassini–Huygens Stories

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2012-07-10 13:26:06

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online NASA's Cassini spacecraft is flying high amongst the rings of Saturn for the first time in nearly two years. The spacecraft is pumping out views of Saturn's spectacular rings because it has changed the angle at which it orbits the planet, regularly passing above and below Saturn's equatorial plane. In order to change its angle, Cassini had to use the gravity of Titan to change its trajectory. Titan revolves around Saturn within a...

Cassini, Titan, Water, Saturn
2012-06-29 04:55:20

[ Watch the Video ] Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Researchers using data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft have revealed that Titan has a layer of liquid water under its ice shell. During their study, they saw a large amount of squeezing and stretching as the moon orbited Saturn. They determined that if Titan were composed entirely of stiff rock, the gravitational attraction of Saturn would cause bulges, or solid "tides," 3 feet of height. Cassini reveled that...

Saturn’s Jet Stream Process Revealed By Cassini
2012-06-26 04:35:48

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com NASA's Cassini spacecraft has revealed just how Saturn's jet streams work, according to a new study published in the journal Icarus. Scientists have been trying to understand the mechanism that drives Saturn's jet streams, which blow faster in other places, and churn east and west across the planet. The jet streams in Saturn's atmosphere slice across the face of the planet and are visible to the human eye, and also visible at altitudes detectable by...

Titan In The Shadows Of Saturn’s Rings
2012-06-20 04:01:17

Titan appears to be strung like a bead on Saturn´s rings, which cast shadows onto the southern hemisphere of the gas giant in this beautiful image from Cassini. Faint but exquisite detail in the gas giant´s upper atmosphere paints a tranquil scene. A thin band of bright white ammonia ice clouds is etched into the planet´s disc towards the top of the image while clouds dotted below are faded scars of a huge storm that raged across the planet through much of 2011. Shadows...

Saturnian Moon Titan Has Tropical Lakes, Cassini Finds
2012-06-14 12:02:30

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com NASA's Cassini spacecraft has discovered tropical lakes on Saturn's moon Titan, one of which is about half the size of Utah's Great Salt Lake. Previous models had assumed the long-standing bodies of liquid only existed at the poles on the moon, but the latest findings published in this week's issue of the journal Nature shows the methane lakes in the "tropics" of Titan. Caitlin Griffith, the paper's lead author, said that the liquid for these lakes likely...

Cassini Plasma Spectrometer Turned Off, Engineers Investigating
2012-06-08 03:17:40

The Cassini plasma spectrometer instrument (CAPS) aboard NASA's Cassini spacecraft was turned off between Friday, June 1 and Saturday, June 2, when a circuit breaker tripped off after the instrument experienced some unexpected voltage shifts. Engineers are currently investigating this issue, which they believe is due to short circuits in the instrument. In June 2011, the instrument was turned off because of similar problems, but was switched on again in March 2012 once investigators...

Enceladus Plume Highlights 'Dusty Plasma'
2012-06-04 07:20:05

Recent findings from NASA's Cassini mission reveal that Saturn's geyser moon Enceladus provides a special laboratory for watching unusual behavior of plasma, or hot ionized gas. In these recent findings, some Cassini scientists think they have observed "dusty plasma," a condition theorized but not previously observed on site, near Enceladus. Data from Cassini's fields and particles instruments also show that the usual "heavy" and "light" species of charged particles in normal plasma are...

Cassini Spots Tiny Moon Methone
2012-05-22 04:03:14

NASA's Cassini spacecraft made its closest approach to Saturn's tiny moon Methone as part of a trajectory that will take it on a close flyby of another of Saturn's moons, Titan. The Titan flyby will put the spacecraft in an orbit around Saturn that is inclined, or tilted, relative to the plane of the planet's equator. The flyby of Methone took place on May 20 at a distance of about 1,200 miles (1,900 kilometers). It was Cassini's closest flyby of the 2-mile-wide (3-kilometer-wide) moon. The...


Latest Cassini–Huygens Reference Libraries

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2004-10-19 04:45:44

Cassini-Huygens Mission -- The Cassini unmanned space probe is intended to study Saturn and its moons. It was launched on October 15, 1997 and is estimated to enter Saturn's orbit on July 1, 2004. The mission is a joined NASA/ESA project. Cassini's principal objectives are to: -- determine the three-dimensional structure and dynamical behavior of the rings -- determine the composition of the satellite surfaces and the geological history of each object -- determine the nature and...

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2004-10-19 04:45:41

Saturn's moon Titan -- Titan is the planet Saturn's largest moon. It is larger than either of the planets Mercury or Pluto and is the second-largest moon in the solar system after Ganymede (it was originally thought to be slightly larger than Ganymede, but recent observations have shown that its thick atmosphere caused overestimation of its diameter). Titan was discovered on March 25, 1655 by the Dutch astronomer Christian Huygens, making it one of the first non-terrestrial moons to be...

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2004-10-19 04:45:41

The Planet Saturn -- in astronomy, 6th planet from the sun. Astronomical and Physical Characteristics of Saturn Saturn's orbit lies between those of Jupiter and Uranus; its mean distance from the sun is c.886 million mi (1.43 billion km), almost twice that of Jupiter, and its period of revolution is about 291/2 years. Saturn appears in the sky as a yellow, starlike object of the first magnitude. When viewed through a telescope, it is seen as a golden sphere, crossed by a series of...

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Word of the Day
siliqua
  • A Roman unit of weight, 1⁄1728 of a pound.
  • A weight of four grains used in weighing gold and precious stones; a carat.
  • In anatomy, a formation suggesting a husk or pod.
  • The lowest unit in the Roman coinage, the twenty-fourth part of a solidus.
  • A coin of base silver of the Gothic and Lombard kings of Italy.
'Siliqua' comes from a Latin word meaning 'a pod.'
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