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Latest Exploration of Saturn Stories

2006-07-26 12:40:00

LONDON (Reuters) - The weather forecast for Saturn's giant moon Titan calls for methane rain, scientists said on Wednesday. It ranges from a persistent drizzle that keeps the surface of Saturn's largest moon -- which has geological features similar to Earth -- damp to fierce storms that could produce huge droplets. "We have found the first evidence of drizzly rain on a remote planet, in this case Titan, which consists of liquid methane and a little bit of nitrogen," said Tetsuya Tokano of...

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2006-06-27 16:03:49

As the Cassini spacecraft reaches the halfway mark in its four-year tour of the Saturn system, discoveries made during the first half of the mission have scientists revved up to find out what's in store for the second act. Cassini has been orbiting Saturn since June 30, 2004, studying the planet, its rings and moons. "The spacecraft has spent a considerable amount of time studying the moon Titan during 15 separate flybys so far. In the second half of its prime mission, ending June 2008,...

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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,"...

2005-11-30 17:05:00

By Paul Carrel PARIS (Reuters) - Saturn's moon Titan resembles Earth in many ways but is unlikely to support life, scientists said on Wednesday after almost a year of research into data from the space probe Huygens. After a seven-year trip from Earth piggy-backed on the Saturn probe Cassini, the European-designed Huygens separated last December and headed for Titan, entering the moon's atmosphere in January this year. "Huygens descended through a hazy, windy and turbulent atmosphere,"...

2005-08-30 12:08:38

By Gideon Long LONDON (Reuters) - There is a hot spot on one of Saturn's moons which should not be there and has yet to be explained, scientists said on Tuesday. It is located at the south pole of Enceladus, a moon with a diameter of just 500 km (310 miles) which orbits Saturn at a distance of around 238,000 km. The hot spot is unusual because it occurs at the pole, scientists said. Usually, the hottest part of any planet or moon is around the equator, as is the case with the...

2005-08-30 11:40:00

LONDON -- There is a hot spot on one of Saturn's moons which should not be there and has yet to be explained, scientists said on Tuesday. It is located at the south pole of Enceladus, a moon with a diameter of just 500 km (310 miles) which orbits Saturn at a distance of around 238,000 km. The hot spot is unusual because it occurs at the pole, scientists said. Usually, the hottest part of any planet or moon is around the equator, as is the case with the earth. This suggests that the heat at...

2005-08-30 09:25:00

By Gideon Long LONDON (Reuters) - There is a hot spot on one of Saturn's moons which should not be there and has yet to be explained, scientists said on Tuesday. It is located at the south pole of Enceladus, a moon with a diameter of just 500 km (310 miles) which orbits Saturn at a distance of around 238,000 km. The hot spot is unusual because it occurs at the pole, scientists said. Usually, the hottest part of any planet or moon is around the equator, as is the case with the earth. This...

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2005-08-17 11:50:00

ESA -- Data from the NASA/ESA/ASI Cassini spacecraft indicate that Saturn's majestic ring system has its own atmosphere - separate from that of the planet itself. During its close fly-bys of the ring system, instruments on Cassini have been able to determine that the environment around the rings is like an atmosphere, composed principally of molecular oxygen. This atmosphere is very similar to that of Jupiter's moons Europa and Ganymede. The finding was made by two instruments on...

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2005-08-06 15:40:00

New images of Saturn obtained by a University of Colorado at Boulder-led team on June 21 using an instrument on the Cassini spacecraft show auroral emissions at its poles similar to Earth's Northern Lights. Taken with the Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph aboard the Cassini orbiter, the two UV images, invisible to the human eye, are the first from the Cassini-Huygens mission to capture the entire "oval" of the auroral emissions at Saturn's south pole. They also show similar emissions at...


Word of the Day
humgruffin
  • A terrible or repulsive person.
Regarding the etymology of 'humgruffin,' the OED says (rather unhelpfully) that it's a 'made-up word.' We might guess that 'hum' comes from 'humbug' or possibly 'hum' meaning 'a disagreeable smell,' while 'gruffin' could be a combination of 'gruff' and 'griffin.'