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Latest Rings of Saturn Stories

37aab76c0f2d3c028bb9c76a0841eeec
2010-11-02 06:50:00

Scientists believe they finally understand why one of the most dynamic regions in Saturn's rings has such an irregular and varying shape, thanks to images captured by NASA's Cassini spacecraft. And the answer, published online November 1 in the Astronomical Journal, is this: The rings are behaving like a miniature version of our own Milky Way galaxy. This new insight, garnered from images of Saturn's most massive ring, the B ring, may answer another long-standing question: What causes the...

a711466a2820b31add0f31780da379f11
2010-07-20 12:55:00

While orbiting Saturn for the last six years, NASA's Cassini spacecraft has kept a close eye on the collisions and disturbances in the gas giant's rings. They provide the only nearby natural laboratory for scientists to see the processes that must have occurred in our early solar system, as planets and moons coalesced out of disks of debris. New images from Cassini show icy particles in Saturn's F ring clumping into giant snowballs as the moon Prometheus makes multiple swings by the ring. The...

fd8cd8e19953a58a241c003037530481
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....

35e1cf4ace82d55651ab13d308420fa91
2010-04-29 12:34:46

An international team of astrophysicists has just unveiled the most complete atlas of nuclear rings, enormous star-forming ring-shaped regions that circle certain galactic nuclei. The catalogue, published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, includes 113 such rings in 107 galaxies. "AINUR (the Atlas of Images of Nuclear Rings) is the most complete atlas of nuclear rings created to date", S©bastien Comer³n, a researcher at the Institute of Astrophysics of the...

2010-04-14 13:39:00

WASHINGTON, April 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA's Cassini spacecraft has captured images of lightning on Saturn. The images have allowed scientists to create the first movie showing lightning flashing on another planet. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) After waiting years for Saturn to dim enough for the spacecraft's cameras to detect bursts of light, scientists were able to create the movie, complete with a soundtrack that features the crackle of...

9372a04e1334214ce008dcd1d97a21091
2010-03-25 07:21:38

Scientists discover how ice jets on the moon feed Saturn's E ring and cause some slight snowfall to boot Cassini's nose dives through Saturn's E ring have yielded insights on the give and take of ice particles between Enceladus and the ring. Some of the moon's jets are successful in shooting ice grains far enough to become part of the E ring. But even the ice grains that make it to the E ring tend to be recaptured by Enceladus within a few orbits as the moon moves around Saturn. This was...

f3bf04b9176f68f109b6518b12c15bc41
2010-02-20 07:30:00

Like the battered white whale Moby Dick taunting Captain Ahab, Saturn's moon Prometheus surges toward the viewer in a 3-D image from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. The image exposes the irregular shape and circular surface scars on Prometheus, pointing to a violent history. These craters are probably the remnants from impacts long ago. Prometheus is one of Saturn's innermost moons. It orbits the gas-giant at a distance of about 140,000 kilometers (86,000 miles) and is 86 kilometers (53 miles)...

8dfd598abcc0ecb144d4667d24aecdfb1
2009-12-31 07:40:00

A stunning view of Saturn from NASA's Cassini spacecraft has made Time Magazine's 2009 "Year in Pictures." The photo, released in September and dubbed "The Rite of Spring," was the first up close view from a spacecraft from Earth of Saturn's equinox, when the sun's disk is directly overhead at Saturn's equator. That sun angle illuminates the gas giant's famous rings edge-on, opening up a new perspective. As Cassini imaging team leader Carolyn Porco tells Time, "The geometry revealed...

33d8a4e722407c24cb84c96545a904171
2009-12-23 14:55:00

Like sugar plum fairies in "The Nutcracker," the moons of Saturn performed a celestial ballet before the eyes of NASA's Cassini spacecraft. New movies frame the moons' silent dance against the majestic sweep of the planet's rings and show as many as four moons gliding around one another. To celebrate the holidays, the Cassini imaging team has created a video collection of "mutual events," which occur when one moon passes in front of another, as seen from the spacecraft. Imaging scientists use...

2009-09-21 13:00:00

PASADENA, Calif., Sept. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA scientists are marveling over the extent of ruffles and dust clouds revealed in the rings of Saturn during the planet's equinox last month. Scientists once thought the rings were almost completely flat, but new images reveal the heights of some newly discovered bumps in the rings are as high as the Rocky Mountains. NASA released the images Monday. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO ) "It's like...


Latest Rings of Saturn Reference Libraries

6_01f3c2cab5cf417ad24ef2a3539cb89c2
2004-10-19 04:45:42

Planetary Ring -- A planetary ring is a ring of dust and other small particles orbiting around a planet in a flat disc-shaped region. The most spectacular and famous planetary rings are those around Saturn, but all four of the solar system's gas giant planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune) possess ring systems of their own. The origin of planetary rings is not precisely known, but they are thought to be unstable and dissipate over the course of tens or hundreds of millions of...

4_e9d175f90d0b5ef2871efa0f6af24f302
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Saturn's moon Prometheus -- Prometheus [pra-MEE-thee-us] is the third of Saturn's known satellites. It was discovered from photographs taken by Voyager during its encounter with Saturn by S. Collins and others. Prometheus acts as a shepherd satellite for the inner edge of Saturn's F Ring. The moon is extremely elongated about 145 by 85 by 62 kilometers (90 by 53 by 39 miles) in diameter. It has a number of ridges and valleys on its northern side. Several craters about 20...

4_868ee3ee75d373f925a938985b316c762
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Saturn's moon Pan -- Pan, the innermost known satellite, was found from photographs taken by Voyager during its encounter with Saturn. It was discovered by Mark R. Showalter in 1990, 9 years after the Voyager encounter. Pan is located 133,583 kilometers from the center of Saturn and is within the Encke Gap of Saturn's A-ring. It acts as a shepherd and is responsible for keeping the Encke gap open. It has a diameter of 20 kilometers. ----- Discovered by: Mark R. Showalter;...

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Word of the Day
attercop
  • A spider.
  • Figuratively, a peevish, testy, ill-natured person.
'Attercop' comes from the Old English 'atorcoppe,' where 'atter' means 'poison, venom' and‎ 'cop' means 'spider.' 'Coppa' is a derivative of 'cop,' top, summit, round head, or 'copp,' cup, vessel, which refers to 'the supposed venomous properties of spiders,' says the OED. 'Copp' is still found in the word 'cobweb.'
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