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Keyword: saturn

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  • Saturn's Rings are a Recent Addition to the Solar System, Cassini Observations Show

    01/03/2018 8:45:08 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 18 replies
    Science ^ | December 12, 2017 | Paul Voosen
    The first line of evidence comes from the mass of the rings. For years, many scientists leaned toward a large mass, greater than that of Saturn's moon Mimas, because of the opaque, dense appearance of Saturn's primary ring, the B ring. Enough grist to form a massive ring could have only been supplied billions of years ago, when the early solar system was chock full of planetesimals... [Second] Iess leads Cassini's radio experiment team, which used tiny Doppler shifts in the spacecraft's radio signal to determine the mass of objects it orbited. When Cassini began threading the gap between Saturn...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Saturn: Bright Tethys and Ancient Rings

    09/16/2012 8:37:42 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    NASA ^ | September 16, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: How old are Saturn's rings? No one is quite sure. One possibility is that the rings formed relatively recently in our Solar System's history, perhaps only about 100 million years ago when a moon-sized object broke up near Saturn. Evidence for a young ring age includes a basic stability analysis for rings, and the fact that the rings are so bright and relatively unaffected by numerous small dark meteor impacts. More recent evidence, however, raises the possibility that some of Saturn's rings may be billions of years old and so almost as old as Saturn itself. Inspection of images...
  • It’s Official: Saturn’s Rings Are Young

    01/03/2018 8:03:59 AM PST · by fishtank · 15 replies
    Creation Evolution Headlines ^ | January 3, 2018 | David F. Coppedge
    It’s Official: Saturn’s Rings Are Young January 3, 2018 | David F. Coppedge There’s no stretching the truth any more. Cassini data have led all the ringmasters to the conclusion that the rings of Saturn are not billions of years old. For over 15 years, Creation-Evolution Headlines has reported the tug-of-war between planetary scientists on the age of Saturn’s rings (e.g., 2/12/02). Indications that the rings are much younger than Saturn’s assumed age (4.5 billion years) go back to the Voyager missions. Several lines of evidence pointed to youth, but planetary scientists tugged back at the evidence, inventing ways to...
  • NASA's Choice: Visit Ancient Comet -- Or Saturn Moon?

    12/26/2017 12:46:44 PM PST · by Simon Green · 35 replies
    Forbes ^ | 12/20/17 | Bill Retherford ,
    And now it’s down to two: Dragonfly and CAESAR. Those are the finalists vying for a billion dollar space shot—and a place in NASA’s coveted New Frontiers program. The agency announced the decision Wednesday at its Washington, D.C. headquarters. To win the chance to send a robotic probe into space, Dragonfly and CAESAR beat out proposals from ten other science teams. “This is a very tough competition,” says Jim Green, NASA's Planetary Science Division director. "And these are very exciting missions." Dragonfly—a visual mashup of a drone and helicopter—would land on Titan, a mysterious moon of Saturn that might...
  • Have Astronomers Found the Star of Bethlehem?

    12/07/2011 1:31:10 PM PST · by SeekAndFind · 18 replies
    The Epistle ^ | Bruce Gerig
    The modern search for the Star of Bethlehem began with Johannes Kepler (imperial astronomer for Rudolph II of Germany), who shortly before Christmas in 1603 observed a conjunction (pairing) of Jupiter with Saturn from his observatory in Prague. That this occurred in the constellation of Pisces he thought was important as well – perhaps recalling Rabbi Isaac Abarvanel's belief, noted in his 15th-century commentary on Daniel, that not only does a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn foretell important events, but in Pisces this holds a special significance for Israel; and such an event might even foretell the coming of the...
  • 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.