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Latest Saturn Stories

2012-03-22 10:21:06

WASHINGTON, March 22, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum has bestowed its highest group honor, the Trophy for Current Achievement, on NASA's Cassini mission to Saturn. The annual award recognizes outstanding achievements in the fields of aerospace science and technology. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) The trophy was presented Wednesday during an evening ceremony at the museum in Washington. Established in 1985, the...

2012-03-22 10:20:41

GREENBELT, Md., March 22, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Tuesday, Apr. 3, 2012, the Visitor Center at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., will host a public lecture about Saturn's intriguing moon Titan, given by Dr. Ralph Lorenz of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md. The talk will begin at 7:00 p.m. EDT. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) Titan is a fixture in science fiction, making appearances in...

Cassini Sees Saturn Stressing Out Enceladus
2012-03-20 03:15:13

Images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft have, for the first time, enabled scientists to correlate the spraying of jets of water vapor from fissures on Saturn's moon Enceladus with the way Saturn's gravity stretches and stresses the fissures. The result is among the Cassini findings presented today at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference at The Woodlands, Texas. "This new work gives scientists insight into the mechanics of these picturesque jets at Enceladus and shows that Saturn really...

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2012-03-12 16:52:00

This raw, unprocessed image of Saturn's second largest moon, Rhea, was taken on March 10, 2012, by NASA's Cassini spacecraft. This was a relatively distant flyby with a close-approach distance of 26,000 miles (42,000 kilometers), well suited for global geologic mapping. During the flyby, Cassini captured distinctive views of the moon's cratered surface, creating a 30-frame mosaic of Rhea's leading hemisphere and the side of the moon that faces away from Saturn. The observations included...

Cassini Detects Oxygen On Saturn's Moon Dione
2012-03-02 13:18:55

Researchers report this week in the journal Geophysical Research Letters that NASA's Cassini spacecraft has detected oxygen on one of Saturn's moons. They said their finding increases the likelihood of finding the ingredients for life on one of the moons orbiting gas giants. The ice moon, Dione, has no liquid water and does not have the proper conditions to support life, Andrew Coates of the University College London said.  However, he said that it is possible that other moons of...

Image 1 - Titan Is A Moon Of Many Moods
2012-02-24 04:40:42

A set of recent papers, many of which draw on data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft, reveal new details in the emerging picture of how Saturn's moon Titan shifts with the seasons and even throughout the day. The papers, published in the journal Planetary and Space Science in a special issue titled "Titan through Time", show how this largest moon of Saturn is a cousin - though a very peculiar cousin - of Earth. "As a whole, these papers give us some new pieces in the jigsaw puzzle that is...

The Many Faces Of Titan's Dunes
2012-01-23 10:34:54

A new analysis of radar data from NASA's Cassini mission, in partnership with the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency, has revealed regional variations among sand dunes on Saturn's moon Titan. The result gives new clues about the moon's climatic and geological history. Dune fields are the second most dominant landform on Titan, after the seemingly uniform plains, so they offer a large-scale insight into the moon's peculiar environment. The dunes cover about 13 percent of the...

Voyager Instrument Cooling After Heater Turned off
2012-01-18 12:59:22

In order to reduce power consumption, mission managers have turned off a heater on part of NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft, dropping the temperature of its ultraviolet spectrometer instrument more than 23 degrees Celsius (41 degrees Fahrenheit). It is now operating at a temperature below minus 79 degrees Celsius (minus 110 degrees Fahrenheit), the coldest temperature that the instrument has ever endured. This heater shut-off is a step in the careful management of the diminishing electrical power...

Newly Found Ring System Similar To Saturn
2012-01-12 04:11:22

A team of astrophysicists from the University of Rochester and Europe has discovered a ring system in the constellation Centaurus that invites comparisons to Saturn. The scientists, led by Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy Eric Mamajek of Rochester and the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, used data from the international SuperWASP (Wide Angle Search for Planets) and All Sky Automated Survey (ASAS) project to study the light curves of young Sun-like stars in the...

Computer Model Explains Lakes, Storms On Titan
2012-01-05 09:30:55

Researchers studying Saturn´s moon Titan -- a natural satellite roughly half of Earth´s diameter, with a thick atmosphere of methane and a surface temperature of nearly -300 degrees Fahrenheit and the only other body in our solar system that has large bodies of liquid on its surface -- have created a computer model of its atmosphere and methane cycle that, for the first time, explains how lakes and storms form and exist on the distant moon. The new model, created by researchers...


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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