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Latest Saturn Stories

fce65533a61785b0e5da0ed2b8937cea1
2010-12-29 14:22:23

Ten years ago, on Dec. 30, 2000, NASA's Cassini spacecraft made its closest approach to Jupiter on its way to orbiting Saturn. The main purpose was to use the gravity of the largest planet in our solar system to slingshot Cassini towards Saturn, its ultimate destination. But the encounter with Jupiter, Saturn's gas-giant big brother, also gave the Cassini project a perfect lab for testing its instruments and evaluating its operations plans for its tour of the ringed planet, which began in...

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2010-12-22 10:45:32

On the heels of a successful close flyby of Saturn's moon Enceladus, NASA's Cassini spacecraft is returning images of Enceladus and the nearby moon Dione. Several pictures show Enceladus backlit, with the dark outline of the moon crowned by glowing jets from the south polar region. The images show several separate jets, or sets of jets, emanating from the fissures known as "tiger stripes." Scientists will use the images to pinpoint the jet source locations on the surface and learn more about...

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2010-12-21 14:40:00

Newly released for the holidays, images of Saturn's second largest moon Rhea obtained by NASA's Cassini spacecraft show dramatic views of fractures cutting through craters on the moon's surface, revealing a history of tectonic rumbling. The images are among the highest-resolution views ever obtained of Rhea. The images, captured on flybys on Nov. 21, 2009 and March 2, 2010, can be found at http://www.nasa.gov/cassini, http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov and http://ciclops.org . "These recent,...

504892c1b3424fdc25dba0fa0ec7abe61
2010-12-20 18:00:00

NASA's Cassini spacecraft will be making its close flyby of the northern hemisphere of Saturn's moon Enceladus today, Monday, Dec. 20. The closest approach will take place at 5:08 PM PST (8:08 EST) on Dec. 20, or 1:08 AM UTC on Dec. 21. The spacecraft will zip by at an altitude of about 48 kilometers (30 miles) above the icy moon's surface. Cassini's fields and particles instruments will get priority during this flyby. They will be trying to characterize the particles that may form a tenuous...

58b669302517d0be24afa4be0f40ffb21
2010-12-15 11:41:15

Researchers from the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) have been monitoring a cyclone on Saturn for more than five years. This makes it the longest-lasting cyclone detected to date on any of the giant planets of the Solar System. Images from the Cassini probe were used to carry out this study. "Cyclones "“ where the wind turns in the same direction as the planet "“ do not usually last for a long time, and so we were interested to discover one that had gone on for several...

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2010-12-15 10:25:00

A new analysis based on data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft finds a causal link between mysterious, periodic signals from Saturn's magnetic field and explosions of hot ionized gas, known as plasma, around the planet. Scientists have found that enormous clouds of plasma periodically bloom around Saturn and move around the planet like an unbalanced load of laundry on spin cycle. The movement of this hot plasma produces a repeating signature "thump" in measurements of Saturn's rotating magnetic...

2010-12-14 14:27:00

WASHINGTON, Dec. 14, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA's Cassini spacecraft has found possible ice volcanoes on Saturn's moon Titan that are similar in shape to those on Earth that spew molten rock. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) Topography and surface composition data have enabled scientists to make the best case yet in the outer solar system for an Earth-like volcano landform that erupts in ice. The results were presented today at the American...

785458267cbad26ffbef355eaf39221d1
2010-12-14 15:10:00

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has found possible ice volcanoes on Saturn's moon Titan that are similar in shape to those on Earth that spew molten rock. Topography and surface composition data have enabled scientists to make the best case yet in the outer solar system for an Earth-like volcano landform that erupts in ice. The results were presented today at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco. "When we look at our new 3-D map of Sotra Facula on Titan, we are struck by its...

28126361ac99b3df31a42e368028731b1
2010-12-13 07:35:00

Scientists have an ingenious explanation for the strange ridge belting Saturn's outermost moon, Iapetus For centuries, people wondered how the leopard got its spots. The consensus is pretty solid that evolution played a major role. But it's only been five years since the arrival of high-resolution Cassini Mission images of Saturn's bizarre moon Iapetus that the international planetary community has pondered the unique walnut shape of the large (735 kilometer radius) body, considered by many...

0875bf01dd05469bc9cc71ac0ae787e81
2010-12-13 05:30:00

New research suggests that the origin of Saturn's rings may be a case of cosmic murder. According to a new theory published on Sunday in the journal Nature, the rings are the only evidence left of an unnamed moon of Saturn's that disappeared about 4.5 billion years ago The report said that Saturn robbed its outer layer of ice as the moon made its death spiral, which then formed rings. "Saturn was an accomplice and that produced the rings," study author Robin Canup, an astronomer at the...


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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