Free Republic 1st Quarter Fundraising Target: $88,000 Receipts & Pledges to-date: $49,480
56%  
Woo hoo!! And we're now over 56%!! Thank you all very much!! God bless.

Keyword: saturn

Brevity: Headers | « Text »
  • 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...
  • Cassinis 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 worlds internal structure, as Cassini flies through the gravitational influence of the moon. Cassini has only gathered gravity science data on a handful of Saturns 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 moons surface following the rugged terrain, continuing unbroken over hills and down into craters and their cause isnt 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...
  • Heres a Look at Saturns 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, its the fifth largest of all of Saturns satellites and orbits at an altitude of 182,689 miles (294,009 km). But it does not fly alone. Its tiny siblings Telesto and Calypso19 mi. and 16 mi. across (31 km and 26 km) respectivelyfly 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, NASAs Cassini spacecraft made its latest and final flyby of Hyperion, Saturns spongy moon. At around 9:36 a.m. EDT Cassini came within 21,000 miles (34,000 km) of Hyperions 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 Saturns irregularly-shaped moons and its eighth-largest overall. Scientists think it could be whats 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, its 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 eachs 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...
  • Astronomical discovery: 'Super Saturn' with rings 200 times as large

    01/28/2015 2:55:55 PM PST · by Drew68 · 28 replies
    CNN ^ | 28 Jan 15 | Ben Brumfield
    (CNN)In 1610, after he built his telescope, Galileo Galilei first spotted enormous Saturn's gigantic rings. More than 400 years later, astronomers have in a sense dwarfed that discovery with a similar first. Using powerful optics, they have found a much larger planet-like body, J1407b, with rings 200 times the size of Saturn's, U.S. and Dutch astronomers said. It lies some 400 light-years away from Earth. For decades, scientists have believed that many moons around large planets formed out of such ring systems. But this is the first one astronomers have observed aside from Saturn's, they said. It was discovered in...
  • Sixty Four Scenes From Saturn-incredible Flash Presentation of the Saturnian System

    01/16/2015 8:16:14 PM PST · by lbryce · 14 replies
    CICLOPS ^ | Released: April 25, 2007 | iamond Sky Productions, LLC Released: April 25, 2007
    On June 18, 2006, we celebrated Paul McCartney's 64th birthday by highlighting sixty-four of our most dazzling images, a kaleidoscope of splendor and spectacle, in an 8-minute-long cinematic production accompanied by the music of the Beatles. These same sixty-four scenes from Saturn have been composited into the poster shown here. Credit: Diamond Sky Productions, LLC Released: April 25, 2007 Image/Caption Information
  • 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 -- Venus and Mercury at Sunset

    01/15/2015 4:23:51 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | January 15, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Inner planets Venus and Mercury can never wander far from the Sun in Earth's sky. This week you've probably seen them both gathered near the western horizon just after sunset, a close conjunction of bright celestial beacons in the fading twilight. The pair are framed in this early evening skyview captured on January 13 from the ruins of Szarvasko Castle in northwestern Hungary. Above the silhouette of the landscape's prominent volcanic hill Venus is much the brighter, separated from Mercury by little more than the width of two Full Moons. On Friday, planet Earth's early morning risers will also...
  • The Dark Energy Survey Begins to Reveal Previously Unknown Trans-Neptunian Objects

    01/07/2015 7:35:37 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 15 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | on January 7, 2015 | Tim Reyes
    While asteroids residing in the inner solar system will pass quickly through such small fields, trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) orbit the Sun much more slowly. For example, Pluto, at an approximate distance of 40 A.U. from the Sun, along with the object Eris, presently the largest of the TNOs, has an apparent motion of about 27 arc seconds per day although for a half year, the Earths orbital motion slows and retrogrades Plutos apparent motion. The 27 arc seconds is approximately 1/60th the width of a full Moon. So, from one night to the next, TNOs can travel as much...
  • 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 Saturns 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 Cassinis Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS), real color information is provided in wavelengths that correspond to atmospheric...
  • Titanic Liquid: Blinding Sunglint Shines On Saturns Swampy Moon

    11/03/2014 5:34:44 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 11 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | November 3, 2014 | Elizabeth Howell
    Thats what the Sun looks like reflecting off the seas of Titan, that moon of Saturn that excites astrobiologists because its chemistry resembles what early Earth could have looked like. This image represents the first time this sunglint and Titans northern polar seas have been captured in one mosaic, NASA said. Whats more, if you look closely at the sea surrounding the sunlight, you can see what scientists dub a bathtub ring. Besides looking pretty, this image from the Cassini spacecraft shows the huge sea (called Kraken Mare) was actually larger at some point in Titans past. The southern portion...
  • 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 -- Mars, Antares, Moon and Saturn

    10/04/2014 3:40:58 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | October 04, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Mars, Antares, Moon, and Saturn are the brightest celestial beacons in this serene sky. The Sun's golden light is still scattered along the southwestern horizon though, captured after sunset on September 28. The evening gathering of wandering planets and Moon along with the bright star viewed as an equal to Mars and the Scorpion's Heart was enjoyed around planet Earth. But from the photographer's perspective looking across the calm waters of Lake Balaton, Hungary, they were joined by a more terrestrial sailboat mast light. Mast light, bright star, planets and Moon are all posing near the plane of the...
  • Mysterious feature on Saturn's moon baffles NASA scientists

    09/30/2014 8:38:04 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 53 replies
    theweek.com ^ | 09-30-2014 10:16am ET | Meghan DeMaria
    NASA's Cassini spacecraft has discovered a "mysterious feature" on Saturn's moon Titan. Scientists are working to determine, what, exactly, this feature might be. NASA reports that the feature is roughly 100 square miles, and it lies in Ligeia Mare, one of Titan's hydrocarbon seas. Cassini's radar has observed the feature twice, but its appearance changed between the two sightings. Scientists suspect the feature's change in appearance could be the result of Titan's changing seasons, which Cassini's current extended mission will monitor. The feature's first sighting was in July 2013, and the radar images depicted a bright spot, which stood out...