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Latest Saturn Stories

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...

Cassini Plasma Spectrometer Turned Off, Engineers Investigating
2012-06-08 03:17:40

The Cassini plasma spectrometer instrument (CAPS) aboard NASA's Cassini spacecraft was turned off between Friday, June 1 and Saturday, June 2, when a circuit breaker tripped off after the instrument experienced some unexpected voltage shifts. Engineers are currently investigating this issue, which they believe is due to short circuits in the instrument. In June 2011, the instrument was turned off because of similar problems, but was switched on again in March 2012 once investigators...

Enceladus Plume Highlights 'Dusty Plasma'
2012-06-04 07:20:05

Recent findings from NASA's Cassini mission reveal that Saturn's geyser moon Enceladus provides a special laboratory for watching unusual behavior of plasma, or hot ionized gas. In these recent findings, some Cassini scientists think they have observed "dusty plasma," a condition theorized but not previously observed on site, near Enceladus. Data from Cassini's fields and particles instruments also show that the usual "heavy" and "light" species of charged particles in normal plasma are...

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...

Cassini, Saturn Moon Photographer
2012-05-04 03:18:29

Shortly after passing Enceladus, Cassini had a non-targeted encounter of Dione. At closest approach, the spacecraft flew within about 5,000 miles (8,000 kilometers) of the moon. Cassini's cameras captured several mosaics during this encounter, including one taken around the time of closest approach that covered a fracture named Latium Chasma at resolutions of about 175 feet (53 meters) per pixel. Other mosaics cover much of Dione's northern hemisphere that faces away from Saturn in its orbit,...

Cassini To Probe Enceladus Gravity, Take Pictures
2012-05-02 04:03:26

NASA's Cassini spacecraft will be flying within about 46 miles (74 kilometers) of Saturn's moon Enceladus on Wednesday, May 2, aiming primarily to learn more about the moon's internal structure. The flyby is the third part of a trilogy of flybys -- the other two took place on April 28, 2010, and Nov. 30, 2010 -- for Cassini's radio science experiment. The radio science team is particularly interested in learning how mass is distributed under Enceladus' south polar region, which features jets...

Image 1 - Saturn Moon Has Planet-Like Properties, NASA Finds
2012-04-27 08:07:32

Phoebe, one of Saturn´s 60+ moons, has been found to have planet-like properties, NASA scientists discovered while analyzing swarms of data collected and transmitted by the Cassini orbiter. New analysis of images of Phoebe lead scientists to theorize how the 140-mile-in-diameter rock started life. They suggest that it began its life as a planetoid in the Kuiper belt, a much larger version of the asteroid belt that sits on the outer edge of our planetary system. The scientists...


Latest Saturn Reference Libraries

9_97b760b54aa7e1f81283511b4e3ada292
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...

4_2a3ec5950ad82c9b458cd93eed908c922
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...

4_131c677fc8e51de37052e5e410fd9c8b2
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...

4_75f4d6ac5758ae2da2f285fe4d468f3d2
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
holluschickie
  • 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.'
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