Latest Iapetus Stories

cassini at titan
2014-06-30 08:00:43

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online [ Watch the Video: Cassini Saturn Arrival ] Monday, June 30 marks the 10th anniversary of the Cassini spacecraft’s arrival in the Saturn system, beginning a four-year primary mission that was extended on three occasions and ultimately led to the collection of more than 500 GB of data and the publication of well over 3,000 scientific papers. Cassini reached its destination on June 30, 2004, carrying with it the European Space...

Iapetus Ice Avalanches Explain Landslides Elsewhere
2012-07-30 04:26:15

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Researchers from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri have found that giant ice avalanches on Saturn's moon Iapetus could provide clues to slippage in other places in the Solar System. Kelsi Singer, graduate student in Earth and planetary sciences in Arts & Sciences at the university, says that landslides take place everywhere in the Solar System, but Iapetus has more giant landslides than any celestial body in our...

2010-12-13 07:35:00

Scientists have an ingenious explanation for the strange ridge belting Saturn's outermost moon, Iapetus For centuries, people wondered how the leopard got its spots. The consensus is pretty solid that evolution played a major role. But it's only been five years since the arrival of high-resolution Cassini Mission images of Saturn's bizarre moon Iapetus that the international planetary community has pondered the unique walnut shape of the large (735 kilometer radius) body, considered by many...

2009-12-10 15:15:38

Extensive analyses and modeling of Cassini imaging and heat-mapping data have confirmed and extended previous ideas that migrating ice, triggered by infalling reddish dust that darkens and warms the surface, may explain the mysterious two-toned "yin-yang" appearance of Saturn's moon Iapetus. The results, published online Dec. 10 in a pair of papers in the journal Science, provide what may be the most plausible explanation to date for the moon's bizarre appearance, which has puzzled...

2009-10-07 06:58:00

PASADENA, Calif., Oct. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has discovered an enormous ring around Saturn -- by far the largest of the giant planet's many rings. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) The new belt lies at the far reaches of the Saturnian system, with an orbit tilted 27 degrees from the main ring plane. The bulk of its material starts about six million kilometers (3.7 million miles) away from the planet and extends...

2009-10-07 05:40:00

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has discovered an enormous ring around Saturn -- by far the largest of the giant planet's many rings. The new belt lies at the far reaches of the Saturnian system, with an orbit tilted 27 degrees from the main ring plane. The bulk of its material starts about six million kilometers (3.7 million miles) away from the planet and extends outward roughly another 12 million kilometers (7.4 million miles). One of Saturn's farthest moons, Phoebe, circles within the...

2009-03-27 15:00:00

Astronomers have theorized that the unexplained terrain on one of Saturn's icy moons might have happened when the moon went from a relatively fast-spinning body to one spinning more slowly, BBC News reported. The bulging ridge of Iapetus, which encircles the moon's equator and reaches an altitude of over 12 miles in certain areas, was discussed in detail during a presentation at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Texas. James Roberts and colleagues at the Johns Hopkins University...

2008-06-16 19:40:00

Four students have won the Cassini Scientist for a Day contest, with most choosing Rhea, Saturn's second-largest moon, as the best place for scientists to study using NASA's Cassini spacecraft.Contest participants had to choose one of three target areas for Cassini's camera: Saturn's moon Enceladus, Rhea, or a section of Saturn's rings that includes the tiny moon Pan. The students had to write an essay explaining why their chosen snapshot would yield the most scientific rewards, and the...

2008-02-19 12:05:00

Despite the incredible diversity of Saturn's icy moons, theirs is a story of great interaction. Some of them are pock-marked, some seemingly dirty, others pristine, one spongy, one two-faced, some still spewing with activity and some seeming to be captured from the far reaches of the solar system. Yet many of them have a common thread -- black "stuff" coating their surfaces. "We are beginning to unravel the mysteries of these different and strange moons," said Rosaly Lopes, Cassini scientist...

2007-10-08 12:55:00

NASA scientists are on the trail of Iapetus' mysterious dark side, which seems to be home to a bizarre "runaway" process that is transporting vaporized water ice from the dark areas to the white areas of the Saturnian moon. This "thermal segregation" model may explain many details of the moon's strange and dramatically two-toned appearance, which have been revealed exquisitely in images collected during a recent close flyby of Iapetus by NASA's Cassini spacecraft. Infrared observations from...

Latest Iapetus 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...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Saturn's moon Rhea -- Rhea is the second largest moon of Saturn. It was discovered in 1672 by Giovanni Cassini. Rhea is an icy body with a density of about 1.24 gm/cm3. This low density indicates that it has a rocky core taking up less than one-third of the moon's mass with the rest composed of water-ice. Rhea's features resemble those of Dione, with dissimilar leading and trailing hemispheres, suggesting similar composition and histories. The temperature on Rhea is -174°C in direct...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Saturn's moon Dione -- Dione is a moon of Saturn discovered by Giovanni Cassini in 1684. It is composed primarily of water ice, but as the densest of Saturn's moons (aside from Titan, whose density is increased by gravitational compression) it must have a considerable fraction of denser material like silicate rock in its interior. Though somewhat smaller, Dione is otherwise very similar to Rhea. They both have similar compositions, albedo features and varied terrain. Both have dissimilar...

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
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.