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Latest Moons of Saturn Stories

6eb765c1544d3b7f3d448cc2d45c31ae
2011-01-10 18:00:00

Saturn's icy moon Rhea might seem a strange place to look for clues to understanding the vast majestic rings encircling Saturn. But that's what NASA's Cassini spacecraft plans to do on its next flyby of Rhea. At closest approach, Cassini will pass within about 69 kilometers (43 miles) of the surface at 4:53 AM UTC on Tuesday, Jan. 11, which is 10:53 PM Pacific Time on Monday, Jan. 10. This flyby is the closest Cassini will get to the icy moon's surface. Rhea, Saturn's second largest moon, is...

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2010-12-29 14:22:23

Ten years ago, on Dec. 30, 2000, NASA's Cassini spacecraft made its closest approach to Jupiter on its way to orbiting Saturn. The main purpose was to use the gravity of the largest planet in our solar system to slingshot Cassini towards Saturn, its ultimate destination. But the encounter with Jupiter, Saturn's gas-giant big brother, also gave the Cassini project a perfect lab for testing its instruments and evaluating its operations plans for its tour of the ringed planet, which began in...

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2010-12-22 10:45:32

On the heels of a successful close flyby of Saturn's moon Enceladus, NASA's Cassini spacecraft is returning images of Enceladus and the nearby moon Dione. Several pictures show Enceladus backlit, with the dark outline of the moon crowned by glowing jets from the south polar region. The images show several separate jets, or sets of jets, emanating from the fissures known as "tiger stripes." Scientists will use the images to pinpoint the jet source locations on the surface and learn more about...

b6b3228a8a44e59324209886c35711281
2010-12-21 14:40:00

Newly released for the holidays, images of Saturn's second largest moon Rhea obtained by NASA's Cassini spacecraft show dramatic views of fractures cutting through craters on the moon's surface, revealing a history of tectonic rumbling. The images are among the highest-resolution views ever obtained of Rhea. The images, captured on flybys on Nov. 21, 2009 and March 2, 2010, can be found at http://www.nasa.gov/cassini, http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov and http://ciclops.org . "These recent,...

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2010-12-20 18:00:00

NASA's Cassini spacecraft will be making its close flyby of the northern hemisphere of Saturn's moon Enceladus today, Monday, Dec. 20. The closest approach will take place at 5:08 PM PST (8:08 EST) on Dec. 20, or 1:08 AM UTC on Dec. 21. The spacecraft will zip by at an altitude of about 48 kilometers (30 miles) above the icy moon's surface. Cassini's fields and particles instruments will get priority during this flyby. They will be trying to characterize the particles that may form a tenuous...

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2010-12-15 10:25:00

A new analysis based on data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft finds a causal link between mysterious, periodic signals from Saturn's magnetic field and explosions of hot ionized gas, known as plasma, around the planet. Scientists have found that enormous clouds of plasma periodically bloom around Saturn and move around the planet like an unbalanced load of laundry on spin cycle. The movement of this hot plasma produces a repeating signature "thump" in measurements of Saturn's rotating magnetic...

2010-12-14 14:27:00

WASHINGTON, Dec. 14, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA's Cassini spacecraft has found possible ice volcanoes on Saturn's moon Titan that are similar in shape to those on Earth that spew molten rock. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) Topography and surface composition data have enabled scientists to make the best case yet in the outer solar system for an Earth-like volcano landform that erupts in ice. The results were presented today at the American...

785458267cbad26ffbef355eaf39221d1
2010-12-14 15:10:00

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has found possible ice volcanoes on Saturn's moon Titan that are similar in shape to those on Earth that spew molten rock. Topography and surface composition data have enabled scientists to make the best case yet in the outer solar system for an Earth-like volcano landform that erupts in ice. The results were presented today at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco. "When we look at our new 3-D map of Sotra Facula on Titan, we are struck by its...

28126361ac99b3df31a42e368028731b1
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...

0875bf01dd05469bc9cc71ac0ae787e81
2010-12-13 05:30:00

New research suggests that the origin of Saturn's rings may be a case of cosmic murder. According to a new theory published on Sunday in the journal Nature, the rings are the only evidence left of an unnamed moon of Saturn's that disappeared about 4.5 billion years ago The report said that Saturn robbed its outer layer of ice as the moon made its death spiral, which then formed rings. "Saturn was an accomplice and that produced the rings," study author Robin Canup, an astronomer at the...


Latest Moons of Saturn Reference Libraries

8_1e2e2011b36872dcb4753873588746382
2004-10-19 04:45:44

Lagrangian Point -- In Lagrangian mechanics, a Lagrangian point (or L-point) is one of five positions in space where the gravitational fields of two bodies of substantial but differing mass combine to form a point at which a third body of negligible mass would be stationary relative to the two bodies. Bodies at the L-point will not move relative to the parent bodies if they are not perturbed by other gravitational forces. They are sometimes also referred to as libration points. The...

4_75f4d6ac5758ae2da2f285fe4d468f3d2
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...

Saturn's Moon Hyperion
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Saturn's moon Hyperion -- Hyperion is a moon of Saturn discovered by Bond and Lassell in 1848. It is the largest highly irregular (non-spherical) body in the solar system (Proteus is quite a bit larger but is almost spherical). It seems likely that Hyperion is a fragment of a larger body that was broken by a large impact in the distant past. The largest crater on its surface is approximately 120 kilometers in diameter and 10 kilometers deep. Like most of Saturn's moons, Hyperion's low...

4_8f22c004497825023679cbda1abc7a952
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...

4_b983e20f7df3428e0c6ef2ef2a9951672
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...

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