Latest Moons of Saturn Stories

2010-07-16 07:20:00

Ontario Lacus, the largest lake in the southern hemisphere of Saturn's moon Titan, turns out to be a perfect exotic vacation spot, provided you can handle the frosty, subzero temperatures and enjoy soaking in liquid hydrocarbon. Several recent papers by scientists working with NASA's Cassini spacecraft describe evidence of beaches for sunbathing in Titan's low light, sheltered bays for mooring boats, and pretty deltas for wading out in the shallows. They also describe seasonal changes in the...

2010-07-08 15:00:00

Scientists using NASA's Cassini spacecraft at Saturn have stalked a new class of moons in the rings of Saturn that create distinctive propeller-shaped gaps in ring material. It marks the first time scientists have been able to track the orbits of individual objects in a debris disk. The research gives scientists an opportunity to time-travel back into the history of our solar system to reveal clues about disks around other stars in our universe that are too far away to observe directly....

2010-07-06 14:19:02

As American schoolchildren head out to pools for a summer splash, NASA's Cassini spacecraft will be taking its own deep plunge through the Titan atmosphere this week. The altitude for the upcoming Titan flyby, whose closest approach occurs in the evening of July 6, Pacific and Eastern time (or shortly after midnight on July 7, Coordinated Universal Time) will be about 125 kilometers (78 miles) higher than the super-low flyby of June 21. The altitude of this flyby - 1,005 kilometers (624...

2010-07-06 07:25:00

Complex interactions between Saturn and its satellites have led scientists using NASA's Cassini spacecraft to a comprehensive model that could explain how oxygen may end up on the surface of Saturn's icy moon Titan. The presence of these oxygen atoms could potentially provide the basis for pre-biological chemistry. The interactions are captured in two papers, one led by John Cooper and another led by Edward Sittler, published in the journal Planetary and Space Science in late 2009. Cooper and...

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...

2010-06-10 06:00:00

For decades, researchers have been puzzled over the origins of Saturn's baby moons, which, according to many models, are so small that they should have been blown to pieces long ago by impacts with asteroids and comets. But a group of researchers from France and Britain now think they have the answer. Saturn's icy rings might have given birth to the planet's odd-shaped, small moons, scientists now believe. Scientists theorize that these unusual moons, some of which resemble flying saucers,...

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...

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...

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...

2010-05-12 07:25:00

It appears flash flooding has paved streambeds in the Xanadu region of Saturn's moon Titan with thousands of sparkling crystal balls of ice, according to scientists with NASA's Cassini spacecraft. By analyzing the way the terrain has scattered radar beams, scientists deduce the spheres measure at least a few centimeters (inches) and maybe up to a couple of meters (yards) in diameter. The spheres likely originated as part of water-ice bedrock in higher terrain in Xanadu. "What we believe...

Latest Moons of Saturn Reference Libraries

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...

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 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...

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 Helene -- Helene is a moon of Saturn, discovered by Laques and Lecacheux in 1980 from ground-based observations. It is co-oribtal with Dione and located in its leading Lagrangian point (L4) and hence is sometimes referred to as "Dione B". ----- Orbital radius: 377,400 km Diameter: 33 km (36 x 32 x 30) Mass: Unknown Orbital period: 2.7369 days Orbital inclination: 0.2 ----- NASA Learn more on this topic from eLibrary here:

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Word of the Day
  • Nautical, the visiting and carousing of sailors in the Greenland ships.
This word is apparently from a confusion of two similar Dutch words: 'mallemerok,' a foolish woman, and 'mallemok,' a name for some persons among the crew of a whaling vessel.