Results tagged “saturn”

A Different View of Saturn and its Rings

Saturn's main rings, seen here on their "lit" face, appear much darker than normal. That's because they tend to scatter light back toward its source -- in this case, the Sun.

Dunes on Titan need Firm Winds to Move

Saturn's largest moon, Titan, is one of the few solar system bodies and the only planetary moon known to have fields of wind-blown dunes on its surface. (The others are Venus, Earth and Mars.)

Crescent Saturn and Titan

When Galileo first observed Venus displaying a crescent phase, he excitedly wrote to Kepler (in anagram) of Venus mimicking the moon-goddess. He would have been delirious with joy to see Saturn and Titan, seen in this image, doing the same thing.

Rhea and Titan As Seen By Cassini

Earth is the only planet in our Solar System to have a single solitary moon. While others, such as Mercury and Venus, have none, the gas giants have accumulated crowds of orbiting bodies -- Saturn, for example, boasts an impressive 62 moons!

As it soared past Saturn's large moon Titan recently, NASA's Cassini spacecraft caught a glimpse of bright sunlight reflecting off hydrocarbon seas.

NASA scientists have identified an unexpected high-altitude methane ice cloud on Saturn's moon Titan that is similar to exotic clouds found far above Earth's poles.

Using instruments aboard the Cassini spacecraft to measure the wobbles of Mimas Cornell University astronomer publishing in Science has inferred that this small moon's icy surface cloaks either a rugby ball-shaped rocky core or a sloshing sub-surface ocean.

Scientists analyzing data from NASA's Cassini mission have discovered that a giant, toxic cloud is hovering over the south pole of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, after the atmosphere there cooled dramatically.

NASA's Cassini spacecraft is monitoring the evolution of a mysterious feature in a large hydrocarbon sea on Saturn's moon Titan.

Compared to the age of the solar system -- about four-and-a-half billion years -- a couple of decades are next to nothing.

There is an ongoing drama in the Saturnian ring system that causes small moons to be born and then destroyed on time scales that are but an eyeblink in the history of the solar system.

The Cassini mission has revealed hundreds of lakes and seas spread across the north polar region of Saturn's moon Titan. These lakes are filled not with water but with hydrocarbons, a form of organic compound that is also found naturally on Earth and includes methane.

Saturn has a great many more moons than our planet - a whopping 62. A single moon, Titan, accounts for an overwhelming 96% of all the material orbit the planet, with a group of six other smaller moons dominating the rest. The other 55 small satellites whizzing around Saturn make up the tiny remainder along with the gas giant's famous rings.

Saturn's Polar Vortex and Rings

The Cassini spacecraft captures three magnificent sights at once: Saturn's north polar vortex and hexagon along with its expansive rings.

This artist's rendering shows a cross-section of the ice shell immediately beneath one of Enceladus' geyser-active fractures, illustrating the physical and thermal structure and the processes ongoing below and at the surface.

The Moon Eclipses Saturn

What happened to half of Saturn? Nothing other than Earth's Moon getting in the way. As pictured above on the far right, Saturn is partly eclipsed by a dark edge of a Moon itself only partly illuminated by the Sun.

A combined NASA and ESA-funded study has found firm evidence that nitrogen in the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan originated in conditions similar to the cold birthplace of the most ancient comets from the Oort cloud. The finding rules out the possibility that Titan's building blocks formed within the warm disk of material thought to have surrounded the infant planet Saturn during its formation.

Prometheus is caught in the act of creating gores and streamers in the F ring. Scientists believe that Prometheus and its partner-moon Pandora are responsible for much of the structure in the F ring.

Titan's Polar Vortex

Titan's polar vortex stands illuminated where all else is in shadow. Scientists deduce that the vortex must extend higher into Titan's atmosphere than the surrounding clouds because it is still lit in images like this.

University of Leicester researchers have captured stunning images of Saturn's auroras as the planet's magnetic field is battered by charged particles from the Sun.

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