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Latest Saturn Stories

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2012-07-10 13:26:06

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online NASA's Cassini spacecraft is flying high amongst the rings of Saturn for the first time in nearly two years. The spacecraft is pumping out views of Saturn's spectacular rings because it has changed the angle at which it orbits the planet, regularly passing above and below Saturn's equatorial plane. In order to change its angle, Cassini had to use the gravity of Titan to change its trajectory. Titan revolves around Saturn within a...

Planet-Forming Dust Abruptly Disappears Around Star
2012-07-05 05:10:33

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online One star pinpointed as a prime location for a planet-forming disk decided enough was enough, and closed-up shop suddenly. While observing TYC 824126521, a young star located about 456 light years from Earth, researchers discovered that the planet-forming dust that once surrounded the star abruptly disappeared. Between 2008, when the star was being observed by a powerful infrared telescope in Chile, and 2010, when NASA's WISE...

Cassini, Titan, Water, Saturn
2012-06-29 04:55:20

[ Watch the Video ] Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Researchers using data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft have revealed that Titan has a layer of liquid water under its ice shell. During their study, they saw a large amount of squeezing and stretching as the moon orbited Saturn. They determined that if Titan were composed entirely of stiff rock, the gravitational attraction of Saturn would cause bulges, or solid "tides," 3 feet of height. Cassini reveled that...

Saturn’s Jet Stream Process Revealed By Cassini
2012-06-26 04:35:48

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com NASA's Cassini spacecraft has revealed just how Saturn's jet streams work, according to a new study published in the journal Icarus. Scientists have been trying to understand the mechanism that drives Saturn's jet streams, which blow faster in other places, and churn east and west across the planet. The jet streams in Saturn's atmosphere slice across the face of the planet and are visible to the human eye, and also visible at altitudes detectable by...

2012-06-22 07:30:15

The nation's space exploration program is taking a critical step forward with a successful major technical review of the core stage of the Space Launch System (SLS), the rocket that will take astronauts farther into space than ever before. The core stage is the heart of the heavy-lift launch vehicle. It will stand more than 200 feet (61 meters) tall with a diameter of 27.5 feet (8.4 meters). NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., hosted a comprehensive review....

Titan In The Shadows Of Saturn’s Rings
2012-06-20 04:01:17

Titan appears to be strung like a bead on Saturn´s rings, which cast shadows onto the southern hemisphere of the gas giant in this beautiful image from Cassini. Faint but exquisite detail in the gas giant´s upper atmosphere paints a tranquil scene. A thin band of bright white ammonia ice clouds is etched into the planet´s disc towards the top of the image while clouds dotted below are faded scars of a huge storm that raged across the planet through much of 2011. Shadows...

Some Jack-Ass Shot Up A Saturn V
2012-06-19 04:34:26

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com Repair work is now officially underway for the historic Saturn V rocket after suffering gunshot wounds from a drive-by shooter. The rocket, a National Historic Landmark that is owned by the Smithsonian, was damaged last month when someone decided firing gunshots into the Davidson Center for Space Exploration at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center was a good idea. The drive-by shooter shot bullets that penetrated the windows of the Davidson Center, striking...

Saturnian Moon Titan Has Tropical Lakes, Cassini Finds
2012-06-14 12:02:30

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com NASA's Cassini spacecraft has discovered tropical lakes on Saturn's moon Titan, one of which is about half the size of Utah's Great Salt Lake. Previous models had assumed the long-standing bodies of liquid only existed at the poles on the moon, but the latest findings published in this week's issue of the journal Nature shows the methane lakes in the "tropics" of Titan. Caitlin Griffith, the paper's lead author, said that the liquid for these lakes likely...


Latest Saturn Reference Libraries

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2004-10-19 04:45:44

Cassini-Huygens Mission -- The Cassini unmanned space probe is intended to study Saturn and its moons. It was launched on October 15, 1997 and is estimated to enter Saturn's orbit on July 1, 2004. The mission is a joined NASA/ESA project. Cassini's principal objectives are to: -- determine the three-dimensional structure and dynamical behavior of the rings -- determine the composition of the satellite surfaces and the geological history of each object -- determine the nature and...

Gas Giant
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Gas Giant -- A gas giant is a generic astronomical term invented by the science fiction writer James Blish to describe any large planet that is not composed mostly of rock or other solid matter. Gas giants may still have a solid core - in fact, it is expected that such a core is probably required for a gas giant to form - but the majority of its mass is in the form of gas (or gas compressed into a liquid state). Unlike rocky planets, gas giants do not have a well-defined surface. There...

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2004-10-19 04:45:41

Planet Neptune -- Neptune is the eighth planet from the sun. It is a gas giant. Orbiting so far from the sun, Neptune receives very little heat. Its 'surface' temperature is -218 degrees Celsius (below zero). However, the planet seems to have an internal source of heat. It is thought that this may be leftover heat generated by infalling matter during the planet's birth, now slowly radiating away into space. Neptune's atmosphere has the highest wind speeds in the solar system, up to...

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2004-10-19 04:45:41

Uranus -- Uranus is the seventh planet from the sun. It is a gas giant. Physical characteristics Uranus is composed primarily of rock and various ices, with only about 15% hydrogen and a little helium (in contrast to Jupiter and Saturn which are mostly hydrogen). Uranus (and Neptune) are in many ways similar to the cores of Jupiter and Saturn minus the massive liquid metallic hydrogen envelope. It appears that Uranus does not have a rocky core like Jupiter and Saturn but rather...

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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...

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Word of the Day
mundungus
  • A stinking tobacco.
  • Offal; waste animal product; organic matter unfit for consumption.
This word comes from the Spanish 'mondongo,' tripe, entrails.