Results tagged “saturn”

Saturn's giant moon Titan hides within a thick, smoggy atmosphere that's well-known to scientists as one of the most complex chemical environments in the solar system. It's a productive "factory" cranking out hydrocarbons that rain down on Titan's icy surface, cloaking it in soot and, with a brutally cold surface temperature of around minus 270 degrees Fahrenheit, forming lakes of liquid methane and ethane.

This Week's Photo of Titan

This image was taken on April 08, 2012 and received on Earth April 09, 2012. The camera was pointing toward Titan at approximately 1,810,102 kilometers away, and the image was taken using the CL1 and CB3 filters. This image has not been validated or calibrated.

Exosphere Confirmed at Saturn's Moon Dione

The Cassini spacecraft flew by Dione, one of Saturn's icy moons, on 7 April 2010. During that flyby, instruments detected molecular oxygen ions around the moon. Tokar et al. used those measurements to estimate the density of the molecular oxygen ions to be in the range of 0.01 to 0.09 ions per cubic centimeter (or ions per 0.06 cubic inch). These molecular oxygen ions are produced when neutral molecules are ionized; the measurements confirm that a neutral exosphere surrounds Dione.

Image: Saturn and Dione

Saturn and Dione appear askew in this Cassini spacecraft view, with the north poles rotated to the right, as if they were threaded along on the thin diagonal line of the planet's rings.

Cassini Flyby of Enceladus

On Monday, Nov. 2, NASA's Cassini spacecraft will take its deepest dive yet through the plumes of Saturns moon Enceladus. The goal is to learn more about the composition and density of the plumes spewing from the moons south pole. This is the seventh targeted flyby of Enceladus, so we sometimes refer to it as E7. The video has no sound.

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