Latest Rings of Saturn Stories

2009-09-21 13:10:00

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. "It's like putting on 3-D glasses and seeing the third dimension for the first time," said Bob Pappalardo, Cassini project scientist at NASA's...

2009-09-15 05:35:00

A powerful lightning storm in Saturn's atmosphere that began in mid-January 2009 has become the Solar System's longest continuously observed thunderstorm.  It broke the record duration of 7.5 months set by another thunderstorm observed on Saturn by NASA's Cassini spacecraft between November 2007 and July 2008. The observations of the thunderstorm will be presented by Dr Georg Fischer of the Austrian Academy of Sciences at the European Planetary Science Congress in Potsdam, Germany, on...

2009-06-24 15:53:00

PASADENA, Calif., June 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- For the first time, scientists working on NASA's Cassini mission have detected sodium salts in ice grains of Saturn's outermost ring. Detecting salty ice indicates that Saturn's moon Enceladus, which primarily replenishes the ring with material from discharging jets, could harbor a reservoir of liquid water -- perhaps an ocean -- beneath its surface. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO ) Cassini discovered the...

2009-04-22 09:06:15

A team of planetary scientists working on the NASA/ESA/ASI Cassini-Huygens mission has discovered tiny, charged icy particles in the plume from Saturn's moon Enceladus that offer a tantalizing glimpse of the interior of this enigmatic world. Dr Geraint Jones and Dr Chris Arridge, both from University College London's Mullard Space Science Laboratory, will present the results on behalf of the Cassini Plasma Spectrometer (CAPS) instrument team on Wednesday 22nd April at the European Week of...

2009-03-17 10:50:00

On February 24, 2009, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope captured a photo sequence of four moons of Saturn passing in front of their parent planet. The moons, from far left to right, are the white icy moons Enceladus and Dione, the large orange moon Titan, and icy Mimas. Due to the angle of the Sun, they are each preceded by their own shadow. These rare moon transits only happen when the tilt of Saturn's ring plane is nearly "edge on" as seen from the Earth. Saturn's rings will be...

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...

2008-10-10 15:22:45

Supercomputer simulations of dusty disks around sunlike stars show that planets nearly as small as Mars can create patterns that future telescopes may be able to detect. The research points to a new avenue in the search for habitable planets. "It may be a while before we can directly image earthlike planets around other stars but, before then, we'll be able to detect the ornate and beautiful rings they carve in interplanetary dust," says Christopher Stark, the study's lead researcher at the...

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...

2008-06-05 14:35:00

A team of scientists led from the UK has discovered that the rapid changes in Saturn's F ring can be attributed to small moonlets causing perturbations. Their results are reported in Nature (5th June 2008). Saturn's F ring has long been of interest to scientists as its features change on timescales from hours to years and it is probably the only location in the solar system where large scale collisions happen on a daily basis. Understanding these processes helps scientists understand the...

2008-05-01 00:00:00

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Scientists from the University of Maryland and the Max-Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany appear to have solved a long-standing mystery about the cause of anomalies in Jupiter's gossamer rings. In a new study published in the May 1 issue of Nature, they report that a faint extension of the outermost ring beyond the orbit of Jupiter's moon Thebe, and other observed deviations from an accepted model of ring formation, result from the interplay of shadow...

Latest Rings of Saturn Reference Libraries

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...

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...

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
  • A 'bachelor seal'; a young male seal which is prevented from mating by its herd's older males (mated bulls defending their territory).
This comes from the Russian word for 'bachelors.'