Latest Exploration of Saturn Stories

2007-10-11 21:36:12

Celebrating the 10th anniversary of its launch from Cape Canaveral, the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn is once again at the center of scientific attention. Its latest discoveries about the ringed planet are a leading topic of conversation among the nearly 1,500 scientists gathered this week at a major astronomy conference in Orlando, Fla. Cassini rode into space Oct. 15, 1997, atop a U.S. Air Force Titan IVB. Its mission: to orbit and study the Saturnian system for four years and to put...

2007-08-28 11:40:00

Ever spilled your drink on an airline due to turbulence? Researchers on both sides of the Atlantic are finding new ways to understand the phenomenon - both on Earth and on Titan. Turbulence plays an important role in Earth's weather system, and can be more than an inconvenience - hundreds of injuries have occurred on commercial flights due to turbulence. It is studied both in Earth's atmosphere and in that of Saturn's moon, Titan, aided by data from ESA's Huygens probe. The study of one is...

2007-06-04 09:50:00

Today, two and a half years after the historic landing of ESA's Huygens probe on Titan, a new set of results on Saturn's largest moon is ready to be presented. Titan, as seen through the eyes of Huygens still holds exciting surprises, scientists say. On 14 January 2005, after a seven-year voyage on board the NASA/ESA/ASI Cassini spacecraft, ESA's Huygens probe spent 2 hours and 28 minutes descending by parachute to land on Titan. It then sent transmissions from the surface for another seventy...

2007-05-24 18:13:01

Titan 'T28' Mosaic (top image) Bright and dark terrain on Titan's trailing hemisphere is revealed by Cassini's Imaging Science Subsystem in this mosaic of images taken during the T28 flyby in April 2007. The region shown in this image, centred on the northern part of Titan's trailing hemisphere (near 31.2° North, 139.3° East), had only been seen at very low resolution until February 2007, when Cassini flew over this area for the first time. This mosaic consists of images taken during...

2007-05-16 14:50:00

Pasadena, Calif. -- Rubbing your hands together on a cold day generates a bit of heat, and the same process of frictional heating may be what powers the geysers jetting out from the surface of Saturn's moon Enceladus. Tidal forces acting on fault lines in the moon's icy shell cause the sides of the faults to rub back and forth against each other, producing enough heat to transform some of the ice into plumes of water vapor and ice crystals, according to a new study published in the May 17...

2007-03-01 14:20:00

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has captured never-before-seen views of Saturn from perspectives high above and below the planet's rings. Over the last several months, the spacecraft has climbed to higher and higher inclinations, providing its cameras with glimpses of the planet and rings that have scientists gushing. "Finally, here are the views that we've waited years for," said Dr. Carolyn Porco, Cassini imaging team leader at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo. "Sailing high above...

2007-02-12 09:20:00

Astronomers from the University of Virginia and other institutions have found that Enceladus, the sixth-largest moon of Saturn, is a "cosmic graffiti artist," pelting the surfaces of at least 11 other moons of Saturn with ice particles sprayed from its spewing surface geysers. This ice sandblasts the other moons, creating a reflective surface that makes them among the brightest bodies in the solar system (Enceladus, itself a ball of mostly ice, is the single most reflective body in our solar...

2006-10-12 06:30:24

Scientists with NASA's Cassini mission have spied a new, continuously changing feature that provides circumstantial evidence that a comet or asteroid recently collided with Saturn's innermost ring, the faint D ring. Imaging scientists see a structure in the outer part of the D ring that looks like a series of bright ringlets with a regularly spaced interval of about 30 kilometers (19 miles). An observation made by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope in 1995 also saw a periodic structure in the...

2006-10-12 00:00:00

Cassini scientists are on the trail of the missing moons of Saturn. A recent observation by the spacecraft leads them to believe that they will find the moons near newly discovered rings around the planet. During an unprecedented opportunity, with the sun poised behind Saturn, Cassini scientists discovered two new rings and confirmed the presence of two others. The new rings are associated with one or more small moons and share their orbits with the moons, while scientists suspect a moon is...

2006-09-19 19:02:59

Saturn sports a new ring in an image taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft on Sunday, Sept. 17, during a one-of-a-kind observation. Other spectacular sights captured by Cassini's cameras include wispy fingers of icy material stretching out tens of thousands of kilometers from the active moon, Enceladus, and a cameo color appearance by planet Earth. The images were obtained during the longest solar occultation of Cassini's four-year mission. During a solar occultation, the sun passes directly...

Word of the Day
  • An evil spirit; a devil.
  • A nightmare.
  • In astrology, the twelfth house of a scheme or figure of the heavens: so called from its signifying dreadful things, such as secret enemies, great losses, imprisonment, etc.
'Cacodemon' comes from a Greek term meaning 'evil genius.'