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Keyword: saturn

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  • New Study Says Enceladus has had an Internal Ocean for Billions of Years

    11/09/2017 7:14:52 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 17 replies
    Universe Today ^ | 11/06/2017 | Matt Williams
    The study, titled “Powering prolonged hydrothermal activity inside Enceladus“, recently appeared in the journal Nature Astronomy. The study was led by Gaël Choblet, a researcher with the Planetary and Geodynamic Laboratory at the University of Nantes, and included members from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Charles University, and the Institute of Earth Sciences and the Geo- and Cosmochemistry Laboratory at the University of Heidelberg. ... Based on the way Enceladus orbits Saturn with a certain wobble (aka. libration), scientists have been able to make estimates of the ocean’s depth, which they place at 26 to 31 km (16 to 19 mi)....
  • Cosmic Kittens: Saturn Features Get Feline Names

    09/25/2017 10:45:16 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 5 replies
    Space.com ^ | September 25, 2017 07:00am ET | Hanneke Weitering, Staff Writer |
    Saturn's kittens are a group of small clumps and baby moons, or moonlets, that occupy the planet's F ring. Like the rest of Saturn's rings, this thin outer ring is made up of countless particles that range in size. When enough of those particles bump into one another and stick together, they aggregate into larger clumps — and become eligible for a kitten name. So far, the list of Saturn's kitten names includes several classics, like Fluffy, Garfield, Socks and Whiskers. These are unofficial nicknames for more-complicated (and less adorable) official titles like "Alpha Leonis Rev 9" (aka, Mittens). The...
  • Cassini's Saturn Crash 2017 – How to Watch Its 'Grand Finale

    09/07/2017 11:09:01 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 11 replies
    , Space.com ^ | September 7, 2017 11:00am ET | Mike Wall Senior Writer |
    NASA will air a series of webcasts leading up Cassini’s final suicide plunge, which you will be able to watch here at Space.com, courtesy of NASA TV. Here’s the streaming schedule: Wednesday, Sept. 13 1 p.m. EDT (1700 GMT): News conference from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), home of Cassini’s mission control, providing a detailed preview of final mission activities. Thursday, Sept. 14 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. EDT (1700 to 2200 GMT): NASA Social event at JPL that includes a speaker program, which will be webcast live. About 11 p.m. EDT (0300 GMT on Sept. 15): Final downlink of...
  • NASA's Cassini Saturn Mission's Finale: "Something Unexpected is Awaiting Discovery"

    07/25/2017 9:47:51 PM PDT · by MtnClimber · 50 replies
    The Daily Galaxy ^ | 24 Jul, 2017
    As NASA's Cassini spacecraft makes its unprecedented series of weekly dives between Saturn and its rings, scientists are finding—so far—that the planet's magnetic field has no discernable tilt. This surprising observation, which means the true length of Saturn's day is still unknown, is just one of several early insights from the final phase of Cassini's mission, known as the Grand Finale. Other recent science highlights include promising hints about the structure and composition of the icy rings, along with high-resolution images of the rings and Saturn's atmosphere. Cassini is now in the 15th of 22 weekly orbits that pass through...
  • Planet watching

    07/09/2017 5:36:22 AM PDT · by SandRat · 12 replies
    Planet watchers have plenty to occupy themselves this month. Mars, being too close to the sun, is the only naked eye planet that is not observable. Jupiter will be the first “star” that becomes visible after sunset. It will be low in the southwest. It is so very bright that it can be seen in twilight, but how soon can you detect it? It can be fun to test just how early you can see it. The moon passes close to Jupiter on July 28 making for a pretty grouping. Saturn is up all night this month. It doesn’t get...
  • Saturn Rides Bareback On The Galactic Dark Horse

    06/22/2017 5:57:32 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 13 replies
    universetoday ^ | 22 Jun , 2017 | BoB King
    I didn’t notice it with the naked eye, but as soon as the time exposure ended and I looked at the camera’s back display, there it was — Saturn riding barebacked on the Galactic Dark Horse! The horse, more of a prancing pony, is a collection of dark nebulae in the southern sky beautifully placed for viewing on late June evenings. The Dark Horse is part of the Great Rift, a dark gap that splits the band of the Milky Way in half, starting at the Northern Cross and extending all the way down to the “Teapot” of Sagittarius in...
  • Saturn’s Hexagon Will be the Star of the Cassini Finale

    05/10/2017 6:42:15 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 1 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | 10 May , 2017 | Matt Williams
    he Cassini spacecraft is nearing the end of its lifespan. This September, after spending the past twenty years in space – twelve and a half of which were dedicated to studying Saturn and its system of moons – the probe will be crash into Saturn’s atmosphere. But between now and then, the probe will be making its “Grand Finale” – the final phase of its mission where it will dive between the planet and its rings 22 times. In addition to exploring this region of Saturn (something no other mission has done), the probe will also be using this opportunity...
  • Saturn's mysterious hexagonal storm gets its moment in the sun: Stunning new Cassini image...

    05/09/2017 11:44:45 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 29 replies
    dailymail.co.uk ^ | 05/08/2017
    'The region, in shadow for the first part of the Cassini mission, now enjoys full sunlight, which enables Cassini scientists to directly image it in reflected light.' ... 'Around it swirl the clouds, driven by the fast winds of Saturn.' Although the poles of Saturn are at the center of all of this motion, not everything travels around them in circles. Some of the jet-stream patterns, such as the hexagon-shaped pattern seen here, have wavy, uneven shapes. The famous hexagon shape itself circumscribes the northern polar vortex – seen as a dark spot at the planet’s pole in the above...
  • Cassini Craft Beams Closest Images Ever Taken Of Saturn

    04/27/2017 2:17:13 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 23 replies
    www.npr.org ^ | April 27, 20179:28 AM ET | Bill Chappell
    Images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft show the closest-ever views of Saturn's swirled atmosphere and its massive hurricane. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute ================================================================================================================================ NASA's Cassini spacecraft is giving earthlings their closest-ever views of Saturn's swirled atmosphere and its massive hurricane, beaming a trove of images and data back to Earth after the craft made its first dive between Saturn and its rings Wednesday. Cassini is "showing us new wonders and demonstrating where our curiosity can take us if we dare," said Jim Green, director of NASA's Planetary Science Division. The raw images are being fed into a photo stream on NASA's website,...
  • Cassini’s First Grand Finale Dive

    04/26/2017 4:03:40 AM PDT · by Ulmius · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | April 26, 2017 | NASA/JPL
    Cassini’s First Grand Finale Dive: Milestones Updated April 26, 2017 at 2 a.m. PDT Cassini has made its first dive between the rings and Saturn. It is not in contact with Earth at this time and is expected to regain contact via NASA’s Deep Space Network no earlier than around midnight PDT on April 26, 2017 (3 a.m. EDT on April 27, 2017).
  • Enigmatic plumes from Saturn’s moon caused by cosmic collision

    03/27/2017 7:43:02 PM PDT · by MtnClimber · 14 replies
    New Scientist ^ | 24 Mar, 2017 | Leah Crane
    Enceladus’ south pole is wounded, bleeding heat and water. Its injury may have come from a huge rock smashing into this frigid moon of Saturn less than 100 million years ago, leaving the area riddled with leaky cracks. The region near Enceladus’ south pole marks one of the solar system’s most intriguing mysteries. It spews plumes of liquid from an interior ocean, plus an enormous amount of heat. The south pole’s heat emission is about 10 gigawatts higher than expected – equivalent to the power of 4000 wind turbines running at full capacity. The rest of the moon, though, is...
  • It's a ravioli! It's a UFO! It's ... a moon

    03/10/2017 7:52:46 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 15 replies
    NASA on Thursday released pictures of Pan, one of Saturn's many moons, and its distinctive shape is drawing comparisons to flying saucers and stuffed pasta. The images of the moon come courtesy of NASA's Cassini spacecraft, and reveal the UFO-like form of the tiny satellite, which has an average radius of just 8.8 miles. Cassini's Twitter account tweeted a gif showing the raw images. ... According to NASA's website, Pan's strange shape comes from what is called an equatorial ridge, a characteristic it shares with one of its sister moons, Atlas. The ridge has formed over the course of Pan's...
  • Here's Our Best Look Yet at Saturn's 'UFO' Moon (Moon's name: Pan)

    03/10/2017 1:05:37 AM PST · by LibWhacker · 12 replies
    National Geographic ^ | 3/9/17 | Nadia Drake
    Here's Our Best Look Yet at Saturn's 'UFO' Moon Adorned with a thin band of icy ring particles, the small moon Pan inspires comparisons to alien spacecraft, walnuts, and even ravioli. View Images One of Cassini's new views of Saturn's moon Pan. Photograph by NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute By Nadia Drake PUBLISHED March 9, 2017 There’s a tiny “flying saucer” orbiting deep within Saturn’s rings, and a NASA probe has just gotten its most impressive look yet at the strange object. The saucer is actually a little moon called Pan, and NASA’s Cassini spacecraft captured its distinctive shape on March 7...
  • Cassini snaps a tiny moon shaping Saturn's ring

    01/19/2017 11:42:35 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 6 replies
    CNET ^ | 01/18/2017 | Michelle Starr
    This new picture from NASA's Cassini probe shows off the peculiarity of Daphnis, a moon so tiny it wasn't discovered until 2005. It's just 8 kilometres (5 miles) across, and irregularly shaped, which gives it a wobbly orbit. ... The Keeler gap is just 42 kilometres (26 miles) wide, and Daphnis' distance varies from Saturn by about 9 kilometres (5.6 miles), while it moves up and down by about 17 kilometres (10.5 miles). This eccentricity, and Daphnis' gravity, causes peaked waves to form on the edges of the gap, in both vertical and horizontal directions. In this new image, taken...
  • Nasa finally shares stunning footage of its 2005 landing on Saturn's moon, Titan [tr]

    01/17/2017 12:05:38 PM PST · by C19fan · 20 replies
    UK Daily Mail ^ | January 17, 2017 | Abigail Beall
    New footage released by Nasa shows exactly what it looks like to land on an alien world. It may seem like stuff of science fiction, but the scenes in the new video happened in real life, 12 years ago. The stunning video was captured when the space agency’s Huygens probe descended onto the mysterious world of Titan, Saturn’s biggest moon.
  • Planetary Rings Defy Long Ages

    11/02/2016 11:05:40 AM PDT · by fishtank · 13 replies
    Models of the origin of planetary rings are simulations based on fictions. Real physics cannot keep them billions of years old. Theory vs Realism Researchers at Kobe University claim to have an explanation for planetary rings, Science Daily reports. Their supercomputer model accounts for the difference in composition of Saturn’s icy rings, compared to the rocky rings at Uranus and Neptune. The model, however, published in Icarus, relies on two doubtful assumptions. One is the Late Heavy Bombardment (LHB), which we reported on 9/13/16 is coming under fire. It could be a fiction based on poor data analysis of lunar...
  • Centaurs Keep Their Rings From Greedy Gas Giants

    06/26/2016 10:36:02 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 14 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | 06/24/2016 | Matt Williams
    Centaurs are a population of objects within our Solar System that behave as both comets and asteroids (hence why they are named after the hybrid beasts of Greek mythology). 10199 Chariklo is the largest known member of the Centaur population, a possible former Trans-Neptunian Object (TNO) which currently orbits between Saturn and Uranus. The rings around this asteroid were first noticed in 2013 when the asteroid underwent a stellar occultation. This revealed a system of two rings, with a radius of 391 and 405 km and widths of about 7 km 3 km, respectively. The absorption features of the rings...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Cirrus over Paris

    06/22/2016 4:45:04 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | Wednesday, June 22, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's that over Paris? Cirrus. Typically, cirrus clouds appear white or gray when reflecting sunlight, can appear dark at sunset (or sunrise) against a better lit sky. Cirrus are among the highest types of clouds and are usually thin enough to see stars through. Cirrus clouds may form from moisture released above storm clouds and so may herald the arrival of a significant change in weather. Conversely, cirrus clouds have also been seen on Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Titan, Uranus, and Neptune. The featured image was taken two days ago from a window in District 15, Paris, France, Earth. The...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Galaxy and Planets Beyond Bristlecone Pines

    06/19/2016 6:48:50 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | Sunday, June 19, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's older than these ancient trees? Nobody you know -- but almost everything in the background of this picture. The trees are impressively old -- each part of the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest located in eastern California, USA. There, many of the oldest trees known are located, some dating as far back as about 5,000 years. Seemingly attached to tree branches, but actually much farther in the distance, are the bright orbs of Saturn (left) and Mars. These planets formed along with the Earth and the early Solar System much earlier -- about 4.5 billion years ago. Swooping down...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Three Planets from Pic du Midi

    06/02/2016 4:03:22 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | Thursday, June 02, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Seen any planets lately? All three planets now shining brightly in the night sky are imaged in these panels, captured last week with the 1 meter telescope at Pic du Midi Observatory in the French Pyrenees. Near opposition and closest to Earth on May 30, Mars is presently offering the best ground-based photo-ops in the last decade. The sharp image finds clouds above the Red Planet's north pole (top) and towering volcanos near its right limb. Saturn reaches its own opposition tonight, its bright rings and gaps clearly revealed in the telescopic portrait. Jupiter is currently highest during the...