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Latest Saturn Stories

Voyager 2 Switches To Backup Thruster Set
2011-11-15 04:28:36

NASA's Voyager 2 has successfully switched to the backup set of thrusters that controls the roll of the spacecraft. Deep Space Network personnel sent commands to the spacecraft to make the change on Nov. 4 and received confirmation on Monday, November 14 that the switch has been made. The change allows engineers to reduce the amount of power that the 34-year-old spacecraft needs to operate by turning off the heater that keeps the fuel to the primary thrusters warm. Although the rate of...

Cassini Flyby Focuses On Saturn's Moon Enceladus
2011-11-08 04:25:28

Saturn's moon Enceladus shows its icy face and famous plumes in raw, unprocessed images captured by NASA's Cassini spacecraft during its successful flyby on Nov. 6, 2011. During this Enceladus encounter, the 16th of Cassini's mission, the spacecraft passed the moon at distance of about 300 miles (500 kilometers) at 10:11 p.m. PDT on Nov. 5 (04:49 UTC on Nov. 6). To see the raw images, go to http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/photos/raw/ and click on "Search Images." The Cassini-Huygens...

Orion's Belt Lights Up Cassini's View of Enceladus
2011-10-19 04:34:07

NASA's Cassini mission will take advantage of the position of two of the three stars in Orion's belt when the spacecraft flies by Saturn's moon Enceladus on Wed., Oct. 19. As the hot, bright stars pass behind the moon's icy jets, Cassini's ultraviolet imaging spectrograph will acquire a two-dimensional view of these dramatic plumes of water vapor and icy material erupting from the moon's southern polar region. This flyby is the mission's first-ever opportunity to probe the jets with two stars...

Image 1 - Piecing Together A Global Color Map Of Saturn’s Largest Moon
2011-10-05 03:25:36

An international team led by the University of Nantes has pieced together images gathered over six years by the Cassini mission to create a global mosaic of the surface of Titan. The global maps and animations of Saturn´s largest moon were presented by Stéphane Le Mouélic at the EPSC-DPS Joint Meeting 2011 in Nantes, France on Tuesday 4th October. The team has compiled all the infrared images acquired by the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS)...

Image 1 - Enceladus Caught Showing Off
2011-10-03 14:49:47

NASA's Cassini spacecraft successfully completed its Oct. 1 flyby of Saturn's moon Enceladus and its jets of water vapor and ice. At its closest approach, the spacecraft flew approximately 62 miles (100 kilometers) above the moon's surface. The close approach was designed to give some of Cassini's instruments, including the ion and neutral mass spectrometer, the chance to "taste" the jets themselves. At a higher vantage point during the encounter, Cassini's high-resolution camera captured...

Image 1 - Enceladus Has Snow Flurries And Perfect Powder For Skiing
2011-10-03 09:14:47

Global and high resolution mapping of Enceladus confirms that the weather forecast for Saturn's unique icy moon is set for ongoing snow flurries.  The superfine ice crystals that coat Enceladus's surface would make perfect powder for skiing, according to Dr Paul Schenk of the Lunar and Planetary Institute (Houston, Texas), who will present the results at the EPSC-DPS Joint Meeting 2011 in Nantes, France on Monday 3rd October. Mapping of global color patterns and measurements of...

2011-09-30 04:36:37

NASA leaders met Thursday to discuss acquisition plans for the agency´s new heavy-lift rocket with hundreds of representatives of aerospace industry companies, small businesses and independent entrepreneurs. The rocket, known as the Space Launch System (SLS), will take astronauts farther into space than ever before, create high-quality jobs here at home, and provide the cornerstone for America´s future human space exploration efforts. The Industry Day event, hosted by NASA's...

Enceladus Influences Saturn's Chemical Composition
2011-09-21 12:59:20

   Chalk up one more feat for Saturn's intriguing moon Enceladus. The small, dynamic moon spews out dramatic plumes of water vapor and ice -- first seen by NASA's Cassini spacecraft in 2005. It possesses simple organic particles and may house liquid water beneath its surface. Its geyser-like jets create a gigantic halo of ice, dust and gas around Enceladus that helps feed Saturn's E ring. Now, thanks again to those icy jets, Enceladus is the only moon in our solar system known to...


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
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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