Keyword: saturn

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  • 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...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Milky Way and Planets Near Opposition

    05/21/2016 12:47:18 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | Saturday, May 21, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: In this early May night skyscape, a mountain road near Bursa, Turkey seems to lead toward bright planets Mars and Saturn and the center of our Milky Way Galaxy, a direction nearly opposite the Sun in planet Earth's sky. The brightest celestial beacon on the scene, Mars, reaches its opposition tonight and Saturn in early June. Both will remain nearly opposite the Sun, up all night and close to Earth for the coming weeks, so the time is right for good telescopic viewing. Mars and Saturn form the tight celestial triangle with red giant star Antares just right of...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Saturn and Mars visit Milky Way Star Clouds

    05/10/2016 4:57:55 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | Tuesday, May 10, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Planets, stars, nebulas and a galaxy -- this impressive image has them all. Closest to home are the two planets Mars (right) and Saturn (center), visible as the two bright orange spots in the upper half of the featured image. On the central right are the colorful Rho Ophiuchus star clouds featuring the bright orange star Antares lined up below Mars. These interstellar clouds contain both red emission nebulas and blue reflection nebulas. At the top right of the image is the Blue Horsehead reflection nebula. On the lower left are many dark absorption nebulas that extend from the...
  • All Good Things: Countdown Begins Toward Cassini's 'Grand Finale' Around Saturn

    04/30/2016 8:42:56 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 9 replies
    AmericaSpace ^ | 4/29/16 | Leonidas Papadopoulos
    All Good Things: Countdown Begins Toward Cassini's 'Grand Finale' Around Saturn By Leonidas Papadopoulos Artist's concept of Cassini's final orbits between the Saturn's innermost rings and the planet's cloud tops. This set of orbits will consist the last leg of Cassini's mission, called "The Grand Finale," which will culminate with a plunge on Saturn's atmosphere in September 2017. Image Credit: Image Credit: NASA/JPL It has become something of a hackneyed phrase, but in the case of NASA's Cassini spacecraft it is rather fitting: an epic mission of exploration of Saturn that has single-handedly changed our view of the ringed planet,...
  • NASA reports Cassini spacecraft orbit unaffected by theorized undiscovered Planet 9

    04/10/2016 8:30:14 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 9 replies
    clarksvilleonline.com ^ | 04/10/2016 | Preston Dyches
    Contrary to recent reports, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft is not experiencing unexplained deviations in its orbit around Saturn, according to mission managers and orbit determination experts at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Several recent news stories have reported that a mysterious anomaly in Cassini’s orbit could potentially be explained by the gravitational tug of a theorized massive new planet in our solar system, lurking far beyond the orbit of Neptune.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Cassini Approaches Saturn

    04/10/2016 12:31:18 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | Sunday, April 10, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Cassini, a robot spacecraft launched in 1997 by NASA, became close enough in 2002 to resolve many rings and moons of its destination planet: Saturn. At that time, Cassini snapped several images during an engineering test. Several of those images were combined into the contrast-enhanced color composite featured here. Saturn's rings and cloud-tops are visible toward the image bottom, while Titan, its largest moon, is visible as the speck toward the top. When arriving at Saturn in July 2004, the Cassini orbiter began to circle and study the Saturnian system. A highlight was when Cassini launched the Huygens probe...
  • Moons of Saturn May Be Younger Than the Dinosaurs

    03/30/2016 3:39:17 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 37 replies
    Scientific Computing ^ | March 28, 2016 | SETI Institute
    New research suggests that some of Saturn's icy moons, as well as its famous rings, might be modern adornments. Their dramatic birth may have taken place a mere hundred million years ago, more recent than the reign of many dinosaurs... While Saturn's rings have been known since the 1600s, there's still debate about their age. The straightforward assumption is that they are primordial -- as old as the planet itself, which is more than four billion years. However, in 2012, French astronomers found that tidal effects -- the gravitational interaction of the inner moons with fluids deep in Saturn's interior...
  • Tallest Peak on Saturn's Huge Moon Titan Identified (Photo)

    03/25/2016 7:40:44 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 8 replies
    Images and radar data taken by Cassini peg a 10,948-foot-tall (3,337 m) mountain in an equatorial range called Mithrim Montes as Titan's likely loftiest peak, mission scientists announced today (March 24) at the 47th annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in The Woodlands, Texas. "It's not only the highest point we've found so far on Titan, but we think it's the highest point we're likely to find," Stephen Wall, deputy lead of the Cassini radar team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said in a statement. Just what could be powering Titan's mountain-building activity remains a mystery, scientists...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Neon Saturn

    03/13/2016 7:34:40 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    NASA ^ | Sunday, March 13, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: If seen in the right light, Saturn glows like a neon sign. Although Saturn has comparatively little of the element neon, a composite image false-colored in three bands of infrared light highlights features of the giant ringed planet like a glowing sign. At the most blue band of the infrared light featured, false-colored blue in the above image, Saturn itself appears dark but Saturn's thin rings brightly reflect light from our Sun. Conversely, Saturn's B ring is so thick that little reflected light makes it through, creating a dark band between Saturn's A and C rings. At the most...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Mystery Feature Now Disappears in Titan Lake

    03/07/2016 7:34:35 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 15 replies
    NASA ^ | Monday, March 07, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What is that changing object in a cold hydrocarbon sea of Titan? Radar images from the robotic Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn have been recording the surface of the cloud-engulfed moon Titan for years. When imaging the flat -- and hence radar dark -- surface of the methane and ethane lake called Ligeia Mare, an object appeared in 2013 July just was not there in 2007. Subsequent observations in 2014 August found the object remained -- but had changed. In an image released last week, the mystery object seems to have disappeared in 2015 January. The featured false-color image shows...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Moons and Jupiter

    03/04/2016 12:25:38 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | March 03, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Some of the Solar System's largest moons rose together on February 23. On that night, a twilight pairing of a waning gibbous Moon and Jupiter was captured in this sharp telescopic field of view. The composite of short and long exposures reveals the familiar face of our fair planet's own large natural satellite, along with a line up of the ruling gas giant's four Galilean moons. Left to right, the tiny pinpricks of light are Callisto, Io, Ganymede, [Jupiter], and Europa. Closer and brighter, our own natural satellite appears to loom large. But Callisto, Io, and Ganymede are actually...
  • Search Narrows For Planet Nine

    02/25/2016 8:57:45 AM PST · by LibWhacker · 32 replies
    Universe Today ^ | 2/25/16 | Bob King
    Based on a careful study of Saturn's orbit and using mathematical models, French scientists were able to whittle down the search region for Planet Nine to "possible" and "probable" zones. Source: CNRS, Cote d'Azur and Paris observatories. Created by the author Astronomy, Cassini, Planet News, Solar SystemSearch Narrows For Planet Nine 25 Feb , 2016 by Bob King An imagined view from Planet Nine looking back toward the Sun. Astronomers think the massive, distant planet is gaseous, similar to the other giant planets in our Solar System. Credit: Wikipedia Last month, planetary scientists Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin of...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Five Planets at Castell de Burriac

    02/06/2016 7:12:45 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 20 replies
    NASA ^ | February 06, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: February's five planet line-up stretches across a clear sky in this predawn scene. A hilltop Castell de Burriac looms in the foreground, overlooking the town of Cabrera de Mar near Barcelona, Spain, planet Earth. The mosaicked, panoramic image looks south. It merges three different exposure times to record a bright Last Quarter Moon, planets, seaside city lights, and dark castle ruins. Seen on February 1st the Moon was near Mars on the sky. But this week early morning risers have watched it move on, passing near Saturn and finally Venus and Mercury, sliding along near the ecliptic toward the...
  • The Many Mysteries of Uranus

    02/02/2016 11:09:42 PM PST · by Timpanagos1 · 39 replies
    The Atlantic ^ | 2/2/16 | DAVID MOSCATO
    The best planet in our solar system is not, as Adrienne LaFrance claimed several months ago, Jupiter. Nor is it Saturn, as Ross Andersen argued in a rebuttal last month. I teach science for a living, which means I have a hard time allowing misinformation to pass by uncorrected—and after reading those articles, I knew I had to step in before any more intellectual damage was done. The best planet is Uranus—Uranus the bizarre. Uranus the unique.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Five Planet Dawn [see my preemptive comment]

    01/30/2016 3:23:39 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 21 replies
    NASA ^ | January 30, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: As January closes and in the coming days of February, early morning risers can spot the five naked-eye planets before dawn. Though some might claim to see six planets, in this seaside panoramic view all five celestial wanderers were found above the horizon along with a bright waning gibbous Moon on January 27. Nearly aligned along the plane of the ecliptic, but not along a line with the Sun, the five planets are spread well over 100 degrees across the sky. Just arriving on the predawn scene, fleeting Mercury stands above the southeastern horizon in the golden light of...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Prometheus and the F Ring

    01/07/2016 10:03:46 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | January 08, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: In Greek myth Prometheus was a Titan, known for bringing fire from Mount Olympus. But in modern times the name is given to is a small moon of Saturn, orbiting just inside Saturn's F ring. In a complex interaction, the tiny potato-shaped moon interacts with the icy ring particles creating structures along the F ring still not fully understood. One of the highest resolution views of Prometheus, this image of its pocked surface posing with the thin F ring in the background was taken during the Cassini spacecraft's close approach on December 6, 2015. Prometheus is about 86 kilometers...
  • Watch Venus Brush Past Saturn This Weekend

    01/04/2016 5:44:44 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 15 replies
    universetoday ^ | 01/01/2016 | ken dickenson
    The early morning sky is where the action is this first week of the year. We were out early this Monday morning as skies cleared over Central Florida on our yearly vigil for the Quadrantid meteors. Though only a handful of meteors graced the dawn skies, we were treated to a splendid line-up, including Jupiter, Mars, Spica, Antares, Saturn, Venus, the waning crescent Moon AND a fine binocular view of Comet C/2013 US10 Catalina. ... Venus and Saturn pass just 5' (that’s 1/6th the diameter of the Full Moon) apart on the morning of Saturday, January 9th. The conjunction (sometimes...
  • Spot five planets at once and a transit of Mercury in 2016

    12/31/2015 11:16:31 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 3 replies
    Batlimore Sun ^ | 12/31/2015 | Scott Dance
    Skywatchers will have many opportunities in 2016 to see just how small we are in the universe. Four days into the new year, hundreds of meteors will dance across the night skies.... Come September, an outer ring of the sun's annular eclipse will be visible across Africa. In between, there will be spectacular shooting stars, super moons, and lunar eclipses to take in. ... From about Jan. 20 to Feb. 20, all five planets that are visible to the naked eye — Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn — will occupy the morning sky. This hasn't happened since 2005, according...
  • Earth-Smashing Space Rocks Undercounted

    12/23/2015 10:12:19 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 16 replies
    discovery.com ^ | 12/22/2015 | Mariette Le Roux, AFP
    Most studies of potential Earth-smashers focus on objects in the asteroid belt roughly between Mars, Earth's outside neighbour, and Jupiter on its other flank, said the researchers. But they noted that the discovery in the last two decades of hundreds of giant comets dubbed centaurs, albeit with much larger orbits, requires expanding the list of potential hazards. These balls of ice and dust, typically 50-100 kilometres (31-62 miles) wide, have unstable, elliptical orbits that start way beyond Neptune, the most distant planet from the Sun. Their paths cross those of the giant planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, whose gravity...
  • Cassini Begins Final Swoop of Saturn Moon Enceladus

    12/18/2015 2:42:04 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 3 replies
    Cassini is due to pass 3,106 miles from Enceladus at 12:49 p.m. EST. Scientists want to use the flyby to study how much heat is coming up through the ice from the moon's interior. The measurements will help researchers figure out what is driving Enceladus' plumes. "Understanding how much warmth Enceladus has in its heart provides insight into its remarkable geologic activity," Cassini project scientist Linda Spilker, with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., said in a statement. Cassini will continue to observe Enceladus during the remainder of its mission, but it will be at least four times farther...
  • UM researcher, NASA team discover how water escapes from Saturn

    12/04/2015 11:47:48 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    EurekAlert! ^ | December 3, 2015 | University of Montana
    A University of Montana professor who studies astrophysics has discovered how water ions escape from Saturn's environment... UM Professor Daniel Reisenfeld is a member of the Cassini research team... One of the instruments on Cassini measures the planet's magnetosphere - the charged particles, known as plasma, that are trapped in the space surrounding Saturn by its magnetic field. One of Cassini's past discoveries is that Saturn's plasma comprises water ions, which are derived from Saturn's moon Enceladus, which spews water vapors from its Yellowstone-like geysers. Knowing that the water ions would not be able to accumulate indefinitely, the team of...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Enceladus: Ringside Water World

    12/03/2015 11:53:27 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | December 03, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Saturn's icy moon Enceladus poses above the gas giant's icy rings in this Cassini spacecraft image. The dramatic scene was captured on July 29, while Cassini cruised just below the ring plane, its cameras looking back in a nearly sunward direction about 1 million kilometers from the moon's bright crescent. At 500 kilometers in diameter, Enceladus is a surprisingly active moon though, its remarkable south polar geysers are visible venting beyond a dark southern limb. In fact, data collected during Cassini's flybys and years of images have recently revealed the presence of a global ocean of liquid water beneath...
  • Did Jupiter Bumped The Giant Planet From Our Solar System?

    11/02/2015 7:03:39 PM PST · by Beowulf9 · 65 replies
    http://www.starminenews.com ^ | NOV 1, 2015 | PTI
    Toronto– A close encounter with Jupiter about four billion years ago may have resulted in another planet’s ejection from the solar system altogether, scientists have found. The existence of a fifth giant gas planet at the time of the solar system’s formation — in addition to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune that we know of today — was first proposed in 2011, researchers said.
  • Why Earth is so much bigger than Mars: Rocky planets formed from 'pebbles'

    10/27/2015 11:47:58 AM PDT · by JimSEA · 9 replies
    Science Daily ^ | 10/27/2015 | Southwest Research Institute
    Using a new process in planetary formation modeling, where planets grow from tiny bodies called "pebbles," Southwest Research Institute scientists can explain why Mars is so much smaller than Earth. This same process also explains the rapid formation of the gas giants Jupiter and Saturn, as reported earlier this year. "This numerical simulation actually reproduces the structure of the inner solar system, with Earth, Venus, and a smaller Mars," said Hal Levison, an Institute scientist at the SwRI Planetary Science Directorate. He is the first author of a new paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences...
  • We're going on a planet hunt

    04/05/2006 7:53:38 PM PDT · by KevinDavis · 38 replies · 814+ views
    EurekAlert ^ | 04/05/06 | Claire Bowles
    A FIFTH terrestrial planet may once have orbited between Mars and Jupiter. Although gravitational disturbances would have sent the planet hurtling into the sun or out into space long ago, traces of this long-gone world may still be visible in part of the asteroid belt today. Recent simulations have suggested that the gas giants of our solar system formed with circular orbits but moved into their more elongated paths about 4 billion years ago – 700 million years after the solar system formed. While the gas giants were in circular orbits, rocky planets should have formed in stable orbits out...
  • Giant Stealth Planet May Explain Rain of Comets from Solar System's Edge

    12/04/2010 7:32:45 PM PST · by The Magical Mischief Tour · 82 replies
    Space.com ^ | 12/01/2010 | Space.com
    Our sun may have a companion that disturbs comets from the edge of the solar system — a giant planet with up to four times the mass of Jupiter, researchers suggest. A NASA space telescope launched last year may soon detect such a stealth companion to our sun, if it actually exists, in the distant icy realm of the comet-birthing Oort cloud, which surrounds our solar system with billions of icy objects. The potential jumbo Jupiter would likely be a world so frigid it is difficult to spot, researchers said. It could be found up to 30,000 astronomical units from...
  • Suicidal planet seems on death spiral into star

    08/27/2009 8:45:48 AM PDT · by VRWCmember · 20 replies · 848+ views
    Yahoo News ^ | 08/27/2009 | SETH BORENSTEIN
    WASHINGTON – Astronomers have found what appears to be a gigantic suicidal planet. The odd, fiery planet is so close to its star and so large that it is triggering tremendous plasma tides on the star. Those powerful tides are in turn warping the planet's zippy less-than-a-day orbit around its star. The result: an ever-closer tango of death, with the planet eventually spiraling into the star.
  • Hot Jupiters do not rule out alien Earths

    03/31/2006 5:21:28 PM PST · by KevinDavis · 10 replies · 629+ views
    New Scientist Space ^ | 03/31/06 | Maggie McKee
    Habitable, Earth-like planets can form even after giant planets have barrelled through their birthplace on epic migrations towards their host stars, new computer simulations suggest. The finding contradicts early ideas of how planets behave and suggests future space missions should search for terrestrial planets near known "hot Jupiters". Many of the 160 or so known extrasolar planets are hot Jupiters - massive planets that are closer to their stars than Mercury is to our Sun. But the planets probably did not form in these scorching regions because there would not have been enough gas and dust there to amass such...
  • Ocean Planets on the Brink of Detection

    02/03/2007 2:01:40 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies · 149+ views
    PhysOrg ^ | February 2, 2007 | Ben Mathiesen
    Early in our own solar system's history, the largest of these planetary embryos acquired a dense envelope of hydrogen and helium and transformed into the gas giants we know today... Planets that form far from their parent star are expected to have a composition similar to comets (50% rock, 50% water by weight). Once a planet exceeds about ten Earth masses it has enough gravity to attract any hydrogen and helium near its orbit, and will rapidly transform into a gas giant... [A planet] in this region that never exceed the threshold... becomes an "ocean planet", a term coined by...
  • Cassini Spies Bright Venus From Saturn Orbit

    10/24/2015 5:59:52 PM PDT · by lbryce · 3 replies
    NASA-Google Plus ^ | March 1, 2013 | NASA
    Seeing Earth first from Mars and then from Saturn was indeed mind-boggling but the recent long distance image from Saturn of Venus really amazed me, especially since it occured over two years ago. Peering over the shoulder of giant Saturn, through its rings, and across interplanetary space, NASA's Cassini spacecraft spies the bright, cloudy terrestrial planet, Venus. The vast distance from Saturn means that Venus only shows up as a white dot, just above and to the right of the image center. Venus, along with Mercury, Earth, and Mars, is one of the rocky 'terrestrial' planets in the solar...
  • Closest northern views of Saturn's moon Enceladus

    10/16/2015 8:23:34 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 23 replies
    http://phys.org ^ | October 16, 2015 | NASA
    NASA's Cassini spacecraft zoomed by Saturn's icy moon Enceladus on Oct. 14, 2015, capturing this stunning image of the moon's north pole. A companion view from the wide-angle camera shows a zoomed out view of the same region for context. Scientists expected the north polar region of Enceladus to be heavily cratered, based on low-resolution images from the Voyager mission, but high-resolution Cassini images show a landscape of stark contrasts. Thin cracks cross over the pole -- the northernmost extent of a global system of such fractures. Before this Cassini flyby, scientists did not know if the fractures extended so...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Global Ocean Suspected on Saturn's Enceladus

    09/22/2015 3:14:18 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | September 20, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Do some surface features on Enceladus roll like a conveyor belt? A leading interpretation of images taken of Saturn's most explosive moon indicate that they do. This form of asymmetric tectonic activity, very unusual on Earth, likely holds clues to the internal structure of Enceladus, which may contain subsurface seas where life might be able to develop. Pictured above is a composite of 28 images taken by the robotic Cassini spacecraft in 2008 just after swooping by the ice-spewing orb. Inspection of these images show clear tectonic displacements where large portions of the surface all appear to move all...
  • The Rose: NASA's Name for The Saturn Hexagon Arguably One of the Solar System's Most Stunning Views

    08/30/2015 7:13:16 AM PDT · by lbryce · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | July 28, 2013 | NASA
    The Rose The Rose The spinning vortex of Saturn's north polar storm resembles a deep red rose of giant proportions surrounded by green foliage in this false-color image from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. Measurements have sized the eye at a staggering 1,250 miles (2,000 kilometers) across with cloud speeds as fast as 330 miles per hour (150 meters per second). This image is among the first sunlit views of Saturn's north pole captured by Cassini's imaging cameras. When the spacecraft arrived in the Saturnian system in 2004, it was northern winter and the north pole was in darkness. Saturn's north pole...
  • The Gas (and Ice) Giant Uranus

    08/27/2015 11:24:07 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 49 replies
    Universe Today ^ | Matt Williams
    Uranus, which takes its name from the Greek God of the sky, is a gas giant and the seventh planet from our Sun. It is also the third largest planet in our Solar System, ranking behind Jupiter and Saturn. Like its fellow gas giants, it has many moons, a ring system, and is primarily composed of gases that are believed to surround a solid core. Though it can be seen with the naked eye, the realization that Uranus is a planet was a relatively recent one. Though there are indications that it was spotted several times over the course of...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Dione, Rings, Shadows, Saturn

    08/24/2015 5:35:56 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | August 24, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's happening in this strange juxtaposition of moon and planet? First and foremost, Saturn's moon Dione was captured here in a dramatic panorama by the robotic Cassini spacecraft currently orbiting the giant planet. The bright and cratered moon itself spans about 1100-km, with the large multi-ringed crater Evander visible on the lower right. Since the rings of Saturn are seen here nearly edge-on, they are directly visible only as a thin horizontal line that passes behind Dione. Arcing across the bottom of the image, however, are shadows of Saturn's rings, showing some of the rich texture that could not...
  • Cassini’s Farewell Look at Dione

    08/19/2015 11:35:44 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 10 replies
    Universe Today ^ | David Dickenson
    Cassini passed just 474 kilometers (295 miles) above the surface of the icy moon on Monday, August 17th at 2:33 PM EDT/18:33 UT. The flyby is the fifth and final pass of Cassini near Dione (pronounced dahy-OH-nee). The closest passage was 100 kilometers (60 miles) in December 2011. This final flyby of Dione will give researchers a chance to probe the tiny world’s internal structure, as Cassini flies through the gravitational influence of the moon. Cassini has only gathered gravity science data on a handful of Saturn’s 62 known moons. “Dione has been an enigma, giving hints of active geologic...
  • 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...
  • Here’s a Look at Saturn’s Most Tortured Moon

    06/15/2015 5:46:56 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 22 replies
    time ^ | Jeffrey Kluger
    Merely one of 62 confirmed or provisional moons orbiting Saturn, Tethys is easily the one with the most compelling life story. For one thing, it is a good sister to the other moons in the Saturnian brood. At 660 mi. (1,062 km) across, it’s the fifth largest of all of Saturn’s satellites and orbits at an altitude of 182,689 miles (294,009 km). But it does not fly alone. Its tiny siblings Telesto and Calypso—19 mi. and 16 mi. across (31 km and 26 km) respectively—fly with it, with Telesto in front Calypso in the rear, and Tethys herding them along...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Flyby Image of Saturn's Sponge Moon Hyperion

    06/03/2015 6:22:25 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | June 03, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Why does this moon look like a sponge? To better investigate, NASA and ESA sent the Saturn-orbiting robotic spacecraft Cassini zooming past Saturn's moon Hyperion, once again, earlier this week. One of the images beamed back to Earth is featured above, raw and unprocessed. Visible, as expected, are many unusually shaped craters with an unusual dark material at the bottom. Although Hyperion spans about 250 kilometers, its small gravitational tug on Cassini indicates that it is mostly empty space and so has very low surface gravity. Therefore, the odd shapes of many of Hyperion's craters are thought to result...
  • 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 -- Saturn at Opposition

    05/29/2015 2:15:34 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | May 29, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Telescopic observers on Earth have been treated to spectacular views of Saturn lately as the ringed planet reached its 2015 opposition on May 23 at 0200 UT. Of course opposition means opposite the Sun in Earth's sky. So near opposition Saturn is up all night, at its closest and brightest for the year. These sharp images taken within hours of the Sun-Earth-Saturn alignment also show the strong brightening of Saturn's rings known as the opposition surge or the Seeliger Effect. Directly illuminated, the ring's icy particles cast no shadows and strongly backscatter sunlight toward planet Earth, creating the dramatic...
  • Saturn's Enceladus Looks Younger than Ever

    04/14/2015 8:26:16 AM PDT · by fishtank · 11 replies
    Institute for Creation Research ^ | 4-9-15 | Brian Thomas
    Saturn's Enceladus Looks Younger than Ever by Brian Thomas, M.S. * The more we learn about Enceladus, the younger it looks. Stated another way, the more that our space probes discover about this fascinating little moon that inhabits Saturn's tenuous E ring, the more challenging it becomes for conventional origins to explain. A new discovery adds to the list of young-looking Enceladus features. The most stunning feature of Saturn's sixth largest moon is undoubtedly its water-ice plumes. The Cassini spacecraft passed by Enceladus several times in 2005 and captured amazing images of these continuous jets. They discharge material and send...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Saturn, Tethys, Rings, and Shadows

    04/05/2015 2:49:41 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | April 05, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Seen from ice moon Tethys, rings and shadows would display fantastic views of the Saturnian system. Haven't dropped in on Tethys lately? Then this gorgeous ringscape from the Cassini spacecraft will have to do for now. Caught in sunlight just below and left of picture center in 2005, Tethys itself is about 1,000 kilometers in diameter and orbits not quite five saturn-radii from the center of the gas giant planet. At that distance (around 300,000 kilometers) it is well outside Saturn's main bright rings, but Tethys is still one of five major moons that find themselves within the boundaries...
  • Twelve Major Brands That Will Disappear

    A number of well-known brands disappeared in the last year in large part due to economic forces. Many of them were in the retail industry, led by Circuit City. ATA and Aloha airlines are gone. Gateway Computers has effectively disappeared after being bought by Acer. It still has a website, but the brand is no longer marketed. As the recession deepens and stretches out quarter after quarter, more companies will close or will shut divisions. More brands will disappear because their parents firms fold or can no longer afford to support them. Other brands will be obliterated by mergers. 24/7...
  • The Top 12 Brands Likely to Disappear

    04/25/2009 12:53:20 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 65 replies · 2,877+ views
    Seeking Alpha ^ | 4/25/2009
    As the recession deepens, economic forces continue to drive consolidation in the retail industry, debt comes due and increasingly discerning consumers buckle down on discretionary spending, an analysis by 24/7 Wall Street predicts that a number of well-known brands are likely to disappear before the end of 2010. To determine which brands are most likely at risk, 24/7 Wall Street examined 100 large brands it believes are in trouble and, for each, looked at public financial records, sales information, analyses from industry experts, the competitive landscape in each’s industry and the likelihood that a brand could be sold off in...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Solar System Portrait

    02/14/2015 5:10:04 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | February 14, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: On another Valentine's Day 25 years ago, cruising four billion miles from the Sun, the Voyager 1 spacecraft looked back one last time to make this first ever Solar System family portrait. The complete portrait is a 60 frame mosaic made from a vantage point 32 degrees above the ecliptic plane. In it, Voyager's wide angle camera frames sweep through the inner Solar System at the left, linking up with gas giant Neptune, the Solar System's outermost planet, at the far right. Positions for Venus, Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are indicated by letters, while the Sun is...