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Latest Exploration of Saturn Stories

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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...

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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...

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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...

226bf7ea6a3a899f0b971a31ae75146b1
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...

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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...

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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...

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2010-05-04 10:00:00

NASA's Cassini spacecraft successfully completed its 26-hour gravity observation at Saturn's moon Enceladus last week, sending back data scientists will use to understand the moon's interior composition and structure. The flyby took Cassini through the water-rich plume flaring out from Enceladus' south polar region, with a closest approach of about 100 kilometers (60 miles) occurring in the late afternoon of April 27, 2010, Pacific Time, or just after midnight April 28 UTC. A steady radio...

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2010-04-13 08:35:00

NASA's Cassini spacecraft completed its double flyby this week, swinging by Saturn's moons Titan and Dione with no maneuver in between. The spacecraft has beamed back stunning raw images of fractured terrain and craters big and small on Dione, a moon that had only been visited once before by Cassini. The Titan flyby took place April 5, and the Dione flyby took place April 7 in the UTC time zone, and April 6 Pacific time. During the Titan flyby, an unexpected autonomous reset occurred and...

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2010-03-18 14:15:00

From our vantage point on Earth, Saturn may look like a peaceful orb with rings worthy of a carefully raked Zen garden, but NASA's Cassini spacecraft has been shadowing the gas giant long enough to see that the rings are a rough and tumble roller derby. It has also revealed that the planet itself roils with strange weather and shifting patterns of charged particles. Two review papers to be published in the March 19 issue of the journal Science synthesize Cassini's findings since arriving at...

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2010-02-09 12:40:00

Astronomers say it is likely that Saturn's moon Enceladus hides a large body of liquid water just beneath its icy surface, BBC News reported. More data returned from the Cassini probe, which periodically sweeps past the little moon, has provided even more evidence backing the idea of a sub-surface sea below the moon's surface. Experts theorize that it is the detection of negatively charged water molecules in the atmosphere of Enceladus. Such ions on Earth are often seen where liquid water is...


Word of the Day
bibliopole
  • A bookseller; now, especially, a dealer in rare and curious books.
This word comes from a Greek phrase meaning 'book seller.'
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