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Keyword: cassini

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  • What Are These Strange Scarlet Streaks Spotted on Tethys?

    07/29/2015 11:40:55 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 26 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | July 29, 2015 | Jason Major
    They stretch for long distances across the moon’s surface following the rugged terrain, continuing unbroken over hills and down into craters… and their cause isn’t yet known. According to a NASA news release, “The origin of the features and their reddish color is currently a mystery to Cassini scientists. Possibilities being studied include ideas that the reddish material is exposed ice with chemical impurities, or the result of outgassing from inside Tethys. The streaks could also be associated with features like fractures that are below the resolution of the available images.” The images were taken by Cassini during a flyby...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- In the Company of Dione

    07/08/2015 3:46:00 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | July 08, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: That is not our Moon. It's Dione, and it's a moon of Saturn. The robotic Cassini spacecraft took the featured image during a flyby of Saturn's cratered Moon last month. Perhaps what makes this image so interesting, though, is the background. First, the large orb looming behind Dione is Saturn itself, faintly lit by sunlight first reflected from the rings. Next, the thin lines running diagonally across the image are the rings of Saturn themselves. The millions of icy rocks that compose Saturn's spectacular rings all orbit Saturn in the same plane, and so appear surprisingly thin when seen...
  • Cassini Gets Final, Stunning View of Saturn's Moon Hyperion

    06/01/2015 4:51:15 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 8 replies
    discovery.com ^ | Jason Major
    On Sunday, May 31, 2015, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft made its latest and final flyby of Hyperion, Saturn’s spongy moon. At around 9:36 a.m. EDT Cassini came within 21,000 miles (34,000 km) of Hyperion’s surface — not its closest approach ever but certainly close enough to grab some fantastic images of this porous and punched-in world. ... At 255 x 163 x 137 miles (410 x 262 x 220 kilometers), Hyperion is the largest of Saturn’s irregularly-shaped moons and its eighth-largest overall. Scientists think it could be what’s left over from a larger moon that was blown apart in the distant...
  • It's not over 'til Saturn's squidgy moon sings: Cassini probe set for final Hyperion fly-by

    05/30/2015 3:45:24 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 17 replies
    .theregister.co.uk ^ | Kelly Fiveash
    Mission scientists have hopes of seeing different terrain on Hyperion than the mission has previously explored in detail during the encounter, but this is not guaranteed. Hyperion (168 miles, 270 kilometres across) rotates chaotically, essentially tumbling unpredictably through space as it orbits Saturn. Because of this, it’s challenging to target a specific region of the moon's surface, and most of Cassini's previous close approaches have encountered more or less the same familiar side of the craggy moon.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Huygens Lands on Titan [flashback]

    01/16/2015 5:24:30 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | January 16, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Delivered by Saturn-bound Cassini, ESA's Huygens probe touched down on the ringed planet's largest moon Titan, ten years ago on January 14, 2005. These panels show fisheye images made during its slow descent by parachute through Titan's dense atmosphere. Taken by the probe's descent imager/spectral radiometer instrument they range in altitude from 6 kilometers (upper left) to 0.2 kilometers (lower right) above the moon's surprisingly Earth-like surface of dark channels, floodplains, and bright ridges. But at temperatures near -290 degrees C, the liquids flowing across Titan's surface are methane and ethane, hydrocarbons rather than water. After making the most...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Crescent Rhea Occults Crescent Saturn

    01/04/2015 7:50:02 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    NASA ^ | January 04, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Soft hues, partially lit orbs, a thin trace of the ring, and slight shadows highlight this understated view of the majestic surroundings of the giant planet Saturn. Looking nearly back toward the Sun, the robot Cassini spacecraft now orbiting Saturn captured crescent phases of Saturn and its moon Rhea in color a few years ago. As striking as the above image is, it is but a single frame from a 60-frame silent movie where Rhea can be seen gliding in front of its parent world. Since Cassini was nearly in the plane of Saturn's rings, the normally impressive rings...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Soaring over Titan

    11/24/2014 12:45:57 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | November 24, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What would it look like to fly over Titan? Radar images from NASA's robotic Cassini satellite in orbit around Saturn have been digitally compiled to simulate such a flight. Cassini has swooped past Saturn's cloudiest moon several times since it arrived at the ringed planet in 2004. The virtual flight featured here shows numerous lakes colored black and mountainous terrain colored tan. Surface regions without detailed vertical information appear more flat, while sufficiently mapped regions have their heights digitally stretched. Among the basins visualized is Kraken Mare, Titan's largest lake which spans over 1,000 kilometers long. Titan's lakes are...
  • 100,000 Ice Blocks Mapped Out at the South Pole … of Enceladus

    10/28/2014 3:10:48 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 8 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | on October 28, 2014 | Matt Williams
    Ever since the Cassini space probe conducted its first flyby of Enceladus in 2005, the strange Saturnian moon has provided us with a treasure trove of images and scientific wonders. These include the jets of icy water vapor periodically bursting from its south pole, the possibility of an interior ocean – which may even harbor life – and the strange green-blue stripes located around the south pole. These stripes are essentially four fractures bounded on either side by ridges that appear to be composed of mint-green-colored ice. Known unofficially as “tiger stripes”, these surface fractures have become a source of...
  • [Russia Today] MUST SEE! Stunning NASA image reveals surface of Saturn's Titan moon

    11/06/2014 6:21:33 PM PST · by lbryce · 40 replies
    Russia Today ^ | November 6, 2014 | Russia Today
    New images from NASA have captured the beautiful golden reflection of the sun on the polar sea of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan. It is the latest image from a collaborative four year mission studying the Saturnine system. The mirror-like reflection, known as the specular point, is in the south of Titan's largest sea, Kraken Mare – just north of an island archipelago separating two separate parts of the sea. To the human eye, this would appear as a haze but through Cassini’s Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS), “real color information” is provided in wavelengths that correspond to atmospheric...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Titan Beyond the Rings

    11/02/2014 3:09:25 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | November 02, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: When orbiting Saturn, be sure to watch for breathtaking superpositions of moons and rings. One such picturesque vista was visible recently to the robot Cassini spacecraft now orbiting Saturn. In 2006 April, Cassini captured Saturn's A and F rings stretching in front of cloud-shrouded Titan. Near the rings and appearing just above Titan was Epimetheus, a moon which orbits just outside the F ring. The dark space in the A ring is called the Encke Gap, although several thin knotted ringlets and even the small moon Pan orbit there.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Mimas: Small Moon with a Big Crater

    10/26/2014 7:11:52 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | October 21, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Whatever hit Mimas nearly destroyed it. What remains is one of the largest impact craters on one of Saturn's smallest moons. The crater, named Herschel after the 1789 discoverer of Mimas, Sir William Herschel, spans about 130 kilometers and is pictured above. Mimas' low mass produces a surface gravity just strong enough to create a spherical body but weak enough to allow such relatively large surface features. Mimas is made of mostly water ice with a smattering of rock - so it is accurately described as a big dirty snowball. The above image was taken during the 2010 February...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Shadows and Plumes Across Enceladus

    08/08/2014 4:40:10 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | August 04, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Why does Enceladus have ice plumes? The discovery of jets spewing water vapor and ice was detected by the Saturn-orbiting Cassini spacecraft in 2005. The origin of the water feeding the jets, however, remained a topic of research. A leading hypothesis held that the source might originate from a deep underground sea, but another hypothesis indicated that it might just be ice melted off walls of deep rifts by the moon's tidal flexing and heating. Pictured above, the textured surface of Enceladus is visible in the foreground, while rows of plumes rise from ice fractures in the distance. These...
  • Saturn’s Moon Titan Has Salty Sea

    07/05/2014 9:53:03 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 35 replies
    americanlivewire.com ^ | Will Phoenix
    According to new findings just published in this week’s edition of the journal Icarus, NASA’s Cassini Mission has brought to light new evidence of an actual ocean inside Titan, Saturn’s biggest moon. Furthermore, the ocean in question might even be as salt-laden as Earth’s Dead Sea. This is but the latest discovery resulting from an analysis of data on topography and gravity gathered during the past decade. Scientists discovered that an extremely high density was needed for the surface ocean of Titan to explain the information on the gravity. This means that Titan’s ocean has to be a very “salty...
  • Cassini Observes TITAN: Methane Lakes, Natural Plastic, Mysterious Radio Signals, and 'Magic Island'

    06/25/2014 9:14:25 AM PDT · by Reaganite Republican · 21 replies
    Reaganite Republican ^ | 24 June 2014 | Reaganite Republican
    TITAN: rendering of methane lake, view of host planet saturn at night If you haven't been following, the NASA-ESA Cassini space mission has recently passed-by the largest of Saturn's 150 moons/moonlets: Titan is a natural satellite 1.5x the size of our own moon that makes up a full 90% of the orbiting mass around the gas giant.  And while Saturn is a large, windy gas ball, its planet-like moon Titan actually has a solid surface compromised of mostly rocks and water ice, retains an atmosphere (majority nitrogen, same as Earth- yet 2x the pressure), and features massive lakes of methane/ethane -one the size of Lake...
  • FBI Visiting Gun Shops to Investigate “People Talking About Big Government”

    04/24/2014 8:30:27 PM PDT · by montag813 · 24 replies
    Top Right News ^ | 04-24-2014 | Gina Cassini
    “If you see some Middle Eastern guy come in, you don’t have to be so worried about that”by Gina Cassini | Top Right NewsThe same FBI that ignored Russian and Saudi intelligence warnings about the Tsarnaev brothers -- the Boston Marathon jihadists -- and refused to question anyone at their radical mosque, is now visiting a gun store near you to target...conservatives!That's right, according to a new report, FBI counterterrorism agents are visiting gun shops in South Carolina to investigate “suspicious purchases” made by people who talk about “big government.”
  • Ft. Hood Shooter Ran Free for 15 to 20 Minutes — Before Being Stopped by Military Policewoman

    04/03/2014 10:04:37 AM PDT · by montag813 · 73 replies
    Top Right News ^ | 04-03-2014 | Gina Cassini
    by Gina Cassini | Top Right News Outrageous. Reckless. Senseless. That is what many military families are calling the continuing ban on concealed carry for servicemembers on U.S. military bases. Bases like Ft. Hood, where 3 brave members of our military were gunned down by an apparently mentally-compromised Spc. Ivan Lopez. And the outrage will only grow in light of a new shocking report that Lopez was able to remain free for 15 to 20 minutes -- more than enough time for him to kill 3 and wound 16 -- before finally being confronted by a military policewoman, whereupon he took...
  • Arizona Senate Panel Approves Bill to Nullify Federal Gun Laws

    02/11/2014 6:20:03 AM PST · by montag813 · 16 replies
    Top Right News ^ | 02-10-2014 | Gina Cassini
    by Gina Cassini | Top Right News Today, an Arizona state senate committee approved a bill that would virtually nullify all federal gun acts, laws, orders, rules or regulations. The vote was 6-3.Along with twelve sponsors and co-sponsors, Arizona State Sen. Kelli Ward introduced the Second Amendment Preservation Act in the Grand Canyon State. SB1294 prohibits the state from enforcing “any federal act, law, order, rule or regulation that relates to a personal firearm, firearm accessory or ammunition within the limits of this state.” “We’ve sat back and allowed the federal government to trample the Constitution long enough,” Ward said. “We’re going...
  • NASA's Cassini Spacecraft Obtains Best Views of Saturn Hexagon

    12/06/2013 8:17:20 AM PST · by oxcart · 19 replies
    NASA.gov ^ | 12/04/13
    NASA's Cassini spacecraft has obtained the highest-resolution movie yet of a unique six-sided jet stream, known as the hexagon, around Saturn's north pole. This is the first hexagon movie of its kind, using color filters, and the first to show a complete view of the top of Saturn down to about 70 degrees latitude. Spanning about 20,000 miles (30,000 kilometers) across, the hexagon is a wavy jet stream of 200-mile-per-hour winds (about 322 kilometers per hour) with a massive, rotating storm at the center. There is no weather feature exactly, consistently like this anywhere else in the solar system. "The...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Take a Picture of Saturn

    07/19/2013 3:41:41 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | July 19, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Take a picture of Saturn in the sky tonight. You could capture a view like this one. Recorded just last month looking toward the south, planet Earth and ruins of the ancient temple of Athena at Assos, Turkey are in the foreground. The Moon rises at the far left of the frame and Saturn is the bright "star" at the upper right, near Virgo's alpha star Spica (picture with labels). If you do take a picture of Saturn or wave at Saturn and take a picture, you can share it online and submit it to the Saturn Mosaic Project....
  • The First Interplanetary Photobomb

    07/17/2013 8:12:51 PM PDT · by EveningStar · 22 replies
    NASA ^ | July 17, 2013 | Dr. Tony Phillips
    Consider it the first interplanetary photobomb. On July 19th, NASA's Cassini spacecraft will photograph Earth through the rings of Saturn--and NASA wants you to jump into the shot. "Cassini has photographed Earth before, but this will be the first time Earthlings know in advance their picture will be taken from a billion miles away," says Linda Spilker, Cassini project scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. "We hope that people around the world will go outside to wave at Saturn while the photo-shoot is underway."
  • Wave at Saturn

    06/19/2013 6:33:54 AM PDT · by SpinnerWebb · 4 replies
    JPL NASA ^ | June 18, 2013 | Linda Spilker
    One of the most exciting Cassini events in 2013 will be the unusual opportunity on July 19 to image the whole Saturn system as it is backlit by the sun. With Saturn covering the harsh light of the sun, we will be gathering unique ring science and also catching a glimpse of our very own home planet.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day

    10/27/2008 4:10:36 AM PDT · by sig226 · 3 replies · 681+ views
    NASA ^ | 10/27/08 | Cassini Imaging team
    Beneath the South Pole of Saturn Credit: Cassini Imaging Team, SSI, JPL, ESA, NASA Explanation: What clouds lurk beneath Saturn's unusual South Pole? To help find out, the robotic Cassini spacecraft currently orbiting Saturn imaged the nether region of the gigantic ringed orb in infrared light. There thick clouds appear dark as they mask much of the infrared light emitted from warmer regions below, while relatively thin clouds appear much lighter. Bands of clouds circle Saturn at several latitudes, while dark ovals indicate many dark swirling storm systems. Surprisingly, a haze of upper level clouds visible towards Saturn's equator disappears...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Raging Storm System on Saturn

    04/28/2013 9:10:21 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | April 28, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: It was one of the largest and longest lived storms ever recorded in our Solar System. † First seen in late 2010, the above cloud formation in the northern hemisphere of Saturn started larger than the Earth and soon spread completely around the planet. The storm was tracked not only from Earth but from up close by the robotic Cassini spacecraft currently orbiting Saturn. Pictured above in false colored infrared in February, orange colors indicate clouds deep in the atmosphere, while light colors highlight clouds higher up. The rings of Saturn are seen nearly edge-on as the thin blue...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Ringside with Rhea

    03/28/2013 9:19:03 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | March 29, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Orbiting in the plane of Saturn's rings, Saturnian moons have a perpetual ringside view of the gas giant planet. Of course, while passing near the ring plane the Cassini spacecraft also shares their stunning perspective. The thin rings themselves slice across the middle of this Cassini snapshot from April 2011. The scene looks toward the dark night side of Saturn, in the frame at the left, and the still sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane. Centered, over 1,500 kilometers across, Rhea is Saturn's second largest moon and is closest to the spacecraft, around 2.2 million...
  • All of a Sudden, the Neighborhood Looks a Lot Friendlier

    09/21/2004 3:38:18 PM PDT · by neverdem · 10 replies · 1,065+ views
    NY Times ^ | September 21, 2004 | DENNIS OVERBYE
    Like most New Yorkers, I have real estate fever. Even though I hate moving, I can't travel anywhere without wondering what it would be like to live there. I can't walk down a street in Oaxaca or the East Village without window shopping for apartments and evaluating the restaurant scene and the availability of playgrounds. It doesn't stop there. Roll a sleeping bag out under the sky in a place like Mesa Verde, 7,000 feet up in the Colorado Rockies, on a summer evening and you will wake up at midnight with your nose in the Milky Way. There are...
  • What If Oil and Natural Gas Are Renewable Resources?

    03/18/2012 12:46:10 PM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 132 replies · 2+ views
    The American Thinker ^ | March 18, 2012 | Greg Lewis
    ....The evidence is mounting that not only do we have more than a century's worth of recoverable oil in the United States alone (even if there is a limit to the earth's oil supply), but that we also actually have a limitless supply of Texas tea because oil is in fact a renewable resource that is being constantly created deep under the earth's surface and which rises upward, where microscopic organisms that thrive in the intense pressure and heat miles below us interact with and alter it. In other words, we have an unending supply of oil, some of which...
  • Fossil Fuels. When are we going to stop using this false description of anaerobic oil?

    06/04/2012 10:05:51 AM PDT · by jongaltsr · 93 replies
    General Knowledge verses historical (mis-knowledge)
    How long are we going to continue referring to oil as Fossil fuel when we have known for many (Many) years that oil as we know it comes not from Dinosaurs etc but rather from "other" organic materials such as "trees" etc. Animals that die (including dinosaurs) do not leave a trace of "oil" when they die. They putrefy, dehydrate and turn to dust, leaving only their bones to be discovered later on. Yes there are fossils in the La Brea Tar Pits and many other such surface Tar Pits around the world but that is because animals fell in...
  • Hints of Life Found on Saturn Moon

    06/04/2010 2:27:04 PM PDT · by James C. Bennett · 26 replies · 720+ views
    Gizmodo ^ | June 4, 2010 | Gizmodo
     Two potential signatures of life on Saturn's moon Titan have been found by the Cassini spacecraft. But scientists are quick to point out that non-biological chemical reactions could also be behind the observations.Titan is much too cold to support liquid water on its surface, but some scientists have suggested that exotic life-forms could live in the lakes of liquid methane or ethane that dot the moon's surface.In 2005, Chris McKay of NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field and Heather R Smith of the International Space University in Strasbourg, France, calculated that such microbes could eke out an existence by breathing in hydrogen...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Six Moons of Saturn

    04/13/2012 10:46:07 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | April 14, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: How many moons does Saturn have? So far 62 have been discovered, the smallest only a fraction of a kilometer across. Six of its largest satellites can be seen here, though, in a sharp Saturnian family portrait taken on March 9. Larger than Earth's Moon and even slightly larger than Mercury, Titan has a diameter of 5,150 kilometers and starts the line-up at the lower left. Continuing to the right across the frame are Mimas, Tethys, [Saturn], Enceladus, Dione, and Rhea at far right. Saturn's first known natural satellite, Titan was discovered in 1655 by Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens,...
  • "Hot spot" found on one of Saturn's moons

    08/30/2005 9:30:12 AM PDT · by Junior · 51 replies · 1,506+ views
    Reuters - Science ^ | 2005-08-30 | Gideon Long
    LONDON (Reuters) - There is a hot spot on one of Saturn's moons which should not be there and has yet to be explained, scientists said on Tuesday. It is located at the south pole of Enceladus, a moon with a diameter of just 500 km (310 miles) which orbits Saturn at a distance of around 238,000 km. The hot spot is unusual because it occurs at the pole, scientists said. Usually, the hottest part of any planet or moon is around the equator, as is the case with the earth. This suggests that the heat at Enceladus' southern pole...
  • Out of the blue, Saturn reveals its true colours (stunning photo)

    02/09/2005 11:30:14 AM PST · by dead · 83 replies · 5,127+ views
    The Australian ^ | February 10, 2005 | Leigh Dayton, Science writer
    THE first true colour image of Saturn reveals that the ringed planet is not the silver orb visible from Earth but a deep shade of blue. Instead, the image - released yesterday by the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado - shows that Saturn's northern hemisphere is a soft azure, striped by the shadows of the planet's rings. In this image released by NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2005, a true color view from the Cassini spacecraft taken Jan. 18, 2005, shows the moon Mimas as it drifts along in its orbit against the azure backdrop of Saturn's...
  • 'Fossil fuel' theory takes hit with NASA finding

    12/02/2005 7:00:55 PM PST · by seastay · 150 replies · 4,759+ views
    worldnetdaily ^ | December 1, 2005
    New study shows methane on Saturn's moon Titan not biological NASA scientists are about to publish conclusive studies showing abundant methane of a non-biologic nature is found on Saturn's giant moon Titan, a finding that validates a new book's contention that oil is not a fossil fuel. "We have determined that Titan's methane is not of biologic origin," reports Hasso Niemann of the Goddard Space Flight Center, a principal NASA investigator responsible for the Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer aboard the Cassini-Huygens probe that landed on Titan Jan. 14. Niemann concludes the methane "must be replenished by geologic processes on Titan,...
  • Strange Objects seen Blazing Trails in Saturn’s Ring


    04/26/2012 11:53:20 AM PDT · by null and void · 24 replies
    This set of six images obtained by NASA's Cassini spacecraft shows trails that were dragged out from Saturn's F ring by objects about a half mile (1 kilometer) in diameter. Courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/QMUL Scientists working with images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft have discovered strange, half-mile-sized objects punching through one of Saturn's rings and leaving glittering trails behind them. The results were presented at the European Geosciences Union meeting in Vienna, Austria. The penetration occurred in the outermost of Saturn's main rings, called the F ring, which has a circumference of 550,000 miles (881,000 kilometers). Scientists are calling the trails "mini-jets."...
  • Titan’s surface organics surpass oil reserves on Earth

    04/03/2008 11:41:31 AM PDT · by maclay · 60 replies · 52+ views
    European Space Agency ^ | 02/13/08 | European Space Agency
    Titan’s surface organics surpass oil reserves on Earth 13 February 2008 Saturn’s orange moon Titan has hundreds of times more liquid hydrocarbons than all the known oil and natural gas reserves on Earth, according to new Cassini data. The hydrocarbons rain from the sky, collecting in vast deposits that form lakes and dunes. The new findings from the study led by Ralph Lorenz, Cassini radar team member from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, USA, are reported in the 29 January 2008 issue of the Geophysical Research Letters. "Titan is just covered in carbon-bearing material—it’s a giant factory of...
  • First Images from Titan

    01/14/2005 1:00:41 PM PST · by Nick Danger · 185 replies · 14,677+ views
    space.com ^ | January 14, 2005 | Huygens
  • Anomalous Trajectories of deep space probes

    03/16/2008 2:22:27 AM PDT · by Swordmaker · 11 replies · 235+ views
    Thunderbolts.info ^ | 03/04/2008
    Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech Mar 04, 2008Anomalous TrajectoriesScientists are puzzled by unexpected acceleration in several unmanned spacecraft as they flew toward the Sun.In a previous Thunderbolts Picture of the Day article about the so-called “Pioneer anomaly”, we noted that NASA scientists have determined that both Pioneer 10 and 11 are off course by more than a hundred thousand kilometers. Mission specialists admitted that they had no explanation for the navigational deviation so many speculations were announced to the press about what “mysterious” forces could be acting on the tiny probes.As long ago as September 1998, however, the same enigmatic forces were also...
  • Astronomers try to make comet sense of festive apparition

    01/04/2005 8:27:59 PM PST · by missyme · 25 replies · 714+ views
    Scotmans News ^ | Jan 4th, 2005
    A COMET that appeared in the night sky over Christmas has invited comparisons with the Star of Bethlehem. But it is amateur astronomers with telescopes and binoculars who are pursuing the object rather than Wise Men bearing gifts. Comet Machholz will be at its most visible tomorrow and Thursday. Even then it will be no more than a faint smudge of light difficult to see with the naked eye. A pair of binoculars pointing south should pick it out near the Pleiades star cluster. Comets have been proposed as an explanation for the star that guided the Three Wise Men...
  • More of Saturn’s Strange Hexagon – In Living Color!

    11/29/2012 5:09:11 PM PST · by lbryce · 30 replies
    Universe Today ^ | November 29, 2012 | John Major
    Yesterday's post on new Cassini'S close-ups of Saturn's mysterious North Pole Hexagon were absolutely breathtaking in the view of the astounding spectacle that nature is capable of. Most of the images involving spectacles such as the Hexagon will usually be skewed to a certain color to dramatize the images to a heightened state of existence. But the images shown here today, on their merit, equally as dramatic but with a truer representation off their color persona that naturally tends to be more staid, neutral, certainly less dramatic as provided by the most recent batch of images provided below. Free Republic:November...
  • Lost lakes of Titan are found at last

    01/05/2007 11:56:39 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 12 replies · 353+ views
    PARIS (AFP) - Lakes of methane have been spotted on Saturn's largest moon, Titan, boosting the theory that this strange, distant world bears beguiling similarities to Earth , according to a new study. Titan has long intrigued space scientists, as it is the only moon in the Solar System to have a dense atmosphere -- and its atmosphere, like Earth's, mainly comprises nitrogen. Titan's atmosphere is also rich in methane, although the source for this vast store of hydrocarbons is unclear. Methane, on the geological scale, has a relatively limited life. A molecule of the compound lasts several tens of...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day 07-16-04

    07/16/2004 5:28:41 AM PDT · by petuniasevan · 5 replies · 683+ views
    NASA ^ | 07-16-04 | Robert Nemiroff and Jerry Bonnell
    Astronomy Picture of the Day Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2004 July 16 The Bubble Credit & Copyright: Ken Crawford Explanation: Blown by the wind from a star, this tantalizing, ghostly apparition is cataloged as NGC 7635, but known simply as The Bubble Nebula. Astronomer Ken Crawford's striking view combines a long exposure through a hydrogen alpha filter with color images to reveal the intricate details of this cosmic bubble and its environment. Although it looks delicate, the...
  • The first pictures revealing the surface of Saturn's moon.

    01/14/2005 7:47:24 PM PST · by waynebobo · 11 replies · 1,425+ views
    The first pictures revealing the surface of Saturn's moon, Titan, were shown from Europe's Huygens probe. You will not believe what's on the moon!!
  • Mystery of Saturn's Two-Faced Moon Solved

    10/09/2007 12:31:36 PM PDT · by martin_fierro · 11 replies · 329+ views
    space.com via Yahoo news ^ | Tue Oct 9, 8:45 AM ET | Jeanna Bryner
    Mystery of Saturn's Two-Faced Moon Solved Jeanna Bryner Staff Writer SPACE.com Tue Oct 9, 8:45 AM ET Saturn's moon Iapetus has virtually no gray. Rather, its features are all stark black and white. The appearance has long puzzled astronomers. New detailed images suggest sunlight is melting ice on one side of Iapetus, leaving the moon's dark surface exposed, while the opposite half retains its reflective ice-mixed shell. Since the moon's discovery by Giovanni Domenico Cassini in 1671, Iapetus' appearance has baffled astronomers. The leading edge of Iapetus, which faces the direction of its orbit, is black as asphalt, while its...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day 10-01-04

    10/01/2004 3:21:27 AM PDT · by petuniasevan · 8 replies · 1,618+ views
    NASA ^ | 10-01-04 | Robert Nemiroff and Jerry Bonnell
    Astronomy Picture of the Day Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2004 October 1 Earth Nears Asteroid Toutatis Illustration Credit: E. De Jong and S. Suzuki, JPL, NASA Explanation: On Wednesday, September 29, the Earth came within one million miles of the asteroid Toutatis -- the closest predicted aproach of our fair planet to a sizable asteroid or comet in this century. Coming within one million miles or about 4 times the Earth-Moon distance, Earth would appear to be...
  • New pictures of Saturn's glow

    06/01/2007 12:42:28 PM PDT · by brityank · 33 replies · 1,844+ views
    Daily Telegraph [UK] ^ | 01/06/2007 | Roger Highfield, Science Editor
    New pictures of Saturn's glow By Roger Highfield, Science Editor Last Updated: 2:33pm BST 01/06/2007 Saturn’s neon glow, represented in brilliant shades of electric blue, sapphire and mint green, has been captured by the Cassini spacecraft while flying over the unlit side of the planet’s rings.   The false-colour mosaic was created from 25 images taken by Cassini's visual and infrared mapping spectrometer over a period of 13 hours This image, providing a striking view of the ringed planet, was taken when the spacecraft was one million miles away. In this view, Cassini was looking down on the northern, unlit...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day 9-18-03

    09/18/2003 3:33:21 AM PDT · by petuniasevan · 7 replies · 158+ views
    NASA ^ | 9-18-03 | Robert Nemiroff and Jerry Bonnell
    Astronomy Picture of the Day Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2003 September 18 Saturn by Three Credit: E. Karkoschka (Univ. Arizona), NASA Explanation: These three views of Saturn were recorded by the Hubble Space Telescope on March 7th of this year, as the southern hemisphere of the solar system's most gorgeous planet reached its maximum 27 degree tilt toward Earth. The images used to construct the false-color pictures were made through a combination of filters covering the electromagnetic...
  • Saturn moon Titan may harbor ocean below surface

    07/01/2012 3:36:19 PM PDT · by presidio9 · 12 replies
    Associated Press ^ | 06/302012 | ALICIA CHANG
    Scientists reported Thursday on the strongest sign yet that Saturn's giant moon may have a salty ocean beneath its chilly surface. If confirmed, it would catapult Titan into an elite class of solar system moons harboring water, an essential ingredient for life. Titan boasts methane-filled seas at the poles and a possible lake near the equator. And it's long been speculated that Titan contains a hidden liquid layer, based on mathematical modeling and electric field measurements made by the Huygens spacecraft that landed on the surface in 2005. The latest evidence is still indirect, but outside scientists said it's probably...
  • From Ringside, Dazzling Photos Show Saturn's Swirling Wreaths

    07/02/2004 12:52:02 AM PDT · by neverdem · 13 replies · 319+ views
    NY Times ^ | July 2, 2004 | JOHN NOBLE WILFORD
    PASADENA, Calif., July 1 — The first spacecraft to orbit Saturn, arriving late Wednesday, swiftly turned its cameras on the planet's rings of ice and rock, and transmitted striking pictures of the encircling luminous strands, some with scalloped edges, strawlike textures and rippling waves that spread across the shimmering disk. Scientists could not have been more delighted. As the ring pictures from the Cassini spacecraft were received here Thursday morning, Dr. Carolyn C. Porco, the mission's chief photographic interpreter, said their beauty and clarity were "just mind-blowing." They were far superior in number and close-up detail to any previous images...
  • Kinks in Saturn's Rings

    11/13/2007 11:02:21 AM PST · by Swordmaker · 23 replies · 102+ views
    Thunderbolts.org ^ | 11/12/2007
      Edge-on image of Saturn's F-ring. Credit: NASA/JPL Cassini-Huygens mission.   Nov 12, 2007Kinks in Saturn's RingsBraids and twists in the rings of Saturn suggest activity in addition to gravitational attraction. Could electricity be one of the formative agents? Saturn's F-ring was discovered by Pioneer 11 during its 1979 flyby of the giant planet. When the Voyager 1 space probe passed by Saturn in November of 1980, it returned stunning pictures of Saturn's rings that were completely unanticipated. Two of the most intriguing discoveries were the "spokes" seen drifting above the ring plane and the twisted and interlaced structure...
  • Strongest evidence yet indicates Enceladus hiding saltwater ocean

    06/22/2011 10:38:22 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 29 replies
    PhysOrg.com ^ | 06-22-2011 | Provided by University of Colorado at Boulder
    Samples of icy spray shooting from Saturn's moon Enceladus collected during Cassini spacecraft flybys show the strongest evidence yet for the existence of a large-scale, subterranean saltwater ocean, says a new international study led by the University of Heidelberg and involving the University of Colorado Boulder. The new discovery was made during the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn, a collaboration of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. Launched in 1997, the mission spacecraft arrived at the Saturn system in 2004 and has been touring the giant ringed planet and its vast moon system ever since. The plumes...
  • Phoebe Probably Distant Traveller (Saturn Moon)

    06/20/2004 10:56:34 AM PDT · by blam · 8 replies · 269+ views
    BBC ^ | 6-20-2004
    Phoebe probably distant traveller Cassini's images of Phoebe Images of Saturn's moon Phoebe from the Cassini spacecraft suggest it may be a relic of objects that formed billions of years ago in the outer Solar System. The pictures seem to show ice in its craters, boosting the theory that it is more similar to comets and very distant Solar System objects than to asteroids. Scientists think Phoebe migrated inwards and was probably captured by Saturn's gravity billions of years ago. Several tiny Saturn moons may have been blasted out of Phoebe by space impacts. "Battered and beat-up as [Phoebe] is,...