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Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 11:32 EDT

Latest Pallene Stories

Cassini Spots Tiny Moon Methone
2012-05-22 04:03:14

NASA's Cassini spacecraft made its closest approach to Saturn's tiny moon Methone as part of a trajectory that will take it on a close flyby of another of Saturn's moons, Titan. The Titan flyby will put the spacecraft in an orbit around Saturn that is inclined, or tilted, relative to the plane of the planet's equator. The flyby of Methone took place on May 20 at a distance of about 1,200 miles (1,900 kilometers). It was Cassini's closest flyby of the 2-mile-wide (3-kilometer-wide) moon. The...

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2010-10-20 09:35:00

Taking a long-weekend road trip, NASA's Cassini spacecraft successfully glided near nine Saturnian moons, sending back a stream of raw images as mementos of its adrenaline-fueled expedition. The spacecraft sent back particularly intriguing images of the moons Dione and Rhea. The Dione and Rhea pictures are the highest-resolution views yet of parts of their surfaces. The views of the southern part of Dione's leading hemisphere (the part of the moon that faces forward in its orbit around...

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2009-03-03 13:10:30

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has found within Saturn's G ring an embedded moonlet that appears as a faint, moving pinprick of light. Scientists believe it is a main source of the G ring and its single ring arc. Cassini imaging scientists analyzing images acquired over the course of about 600 days found the tiny moonlet, half a kilometer (about a third of a mile) across, embedded within a partial ring, or ring arc, previously found by Cassini in Saturn's tenuous G ring. The finding is being...

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2008-09-05 15:55:39

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has detected a faint, partial ring orbiting with one small moon of Saturn, and has confirmed the presence of another partial ring orbiting with a second moon. This is further evidence that most of the planet's small, inner moons orbit within partial or complete rings. Recent Cassini images show material, called ring arcs, extending ahead of and behind the small moons Anthe and Methone in their orbits. The new findings indicate that the gravitational influence of...

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2008-02-19 12:17:27

Gaps in the soup of high energy particles near the orbits of two of Saturn's tiny moons indicate that Saturn may be surrounded by undiscovered, near-invisible partial rings. A paper in the February issue of the journal Icarus suggests the larger Saturnian moons may not be the only ones contributing material to Saturn's ring system. A team of scientists has detected two peculiar breaks in the near-constant rain of high energy electrons that bombard Cassini when near Saturn. They made the...

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2007-07-19 11:15:00

Scientists have recently discovered that the planet Saturn is turning 60 - not years, but moons. "We detected the 60th moon orbiting Saturn using the Cassini spacecraft's powerful wide-angle camera," said Carl Murray, a Cassini imaging team scientist from Queen Mary, University of London. "I was looking at images of the region near the Saturnian moons Methone and Pallene and something caught my eye." The newly discovered moon first appeared as a very faint dot in a series of images Cassini...

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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...