Ontario Lacus, the largest lake in the southern hemisphere of Saturn’s moon Titan, turns out to be a perfect exotic vacation spot, provided you can handle the frosty, subzero temperatures and enjoy soaking in liquid hydrocarbon.
Archive for the ‘Cassini’ Category
The Saturn-orbiting Cassini spacecraft has captured the best picture yet of the tiny moon it discovered in 2005, scientists said Wednesday.
The Cassini spacecraft is heading toward its closest encounter with the mysterious world of Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, during a daring flyby Sunday night that scientists hope will answer a key question.
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft snapped new photos of Saturn’s biggest moon Titan during a recent flyby over the moon’s northern pole that targeted the home of the cloudy moon’s largest methane lake.
Two potential signatures of life on Saturn’s moon Titan have been found by the Cassini spacecraft. But scientists are quick to point out that non-biological chemical reactions could also be behind the observations.
Two new papers based on data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft scrutinize the complex chemical activity on the surface of Saturn’s moon Titan. While non-biological chemistry offers one possible explanation, some scientists believe these chemical signatures bolster the argument for a primitive, exotic form of life or precursor to life on Titan’s surface.
About a month and a half after its last double flyby, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft will be turning another double play this week, visiting the geyser moon Enceladus and the hazy moon Titan.
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft will be gliding low over Saturn’s moon Enceladus for a gravity experiment designed to probe the moon’s interior composition.
A lucky cosmic alignment will allow NASA’s Cassini spacecraft to swing up close to two of Saturn’s moons back-to-back this week.
From our vantage point on Earth, Saturn may look like a peaceful orb with rings worthy of a carefully raked Zen garden, but NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has been shadowing the gas giant long enough to see that the rings are a rough and tumble roller derby. It has also revealed that the planet itself.
The rings of Saturn are the most intricate planetary decorations in our solar system, but are also cosmic gems festooned with unknown red material and some tricky dynamic forces that shape them.
Planetary scientists have been puzzling for years over the honeycomb patterns and flat valleys with squiggly edges evident in radar images of Saturn’s moon Titan. Now, working with a “volunteer researcher” who has put his own spin on data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, they have found some recognizable analogies to a type of spectacular terrain on Earth known as karst topography.
NASA’s Saturn-orbiting Cassini spacecraft this month made its closest pass yet of the odd, eyeball-shaped moon Mimas, which bears the scar of a massive, violent impact from its past.
There seems little doubt that Saturn’s moon Enceladus hides a large body of liquid water beneath its icy skin.
The Cassini probe, which periodically sweeps past the little moon, has returned yet more data to back up the idea of a sub-surface sea.
The robotic Cassini explorer circling Saturn was granted a mission extension until 2017 on Wednesday, as NASA engineers and scientists plot a daring end to the $3 billion mission that will take the spacecraft inside of the planet’s famous rings.
Sixteen days after last visiting Saturn’s largest moon, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft returns for another look-see of the cloud-shrouded moon – this time from on high. The flyby on Thursday, Jan. 28, referred to as “T-66″ in the hollowed halls of Cassini operations, will place the spacecraft within 7,490 kilometers (4,654 miles) above the surface during time of closest approach.
Blobs of warm ice that periodically rise to the surface and churn the icy crust on Saturn’s moon Enceladus explain the quirky heat behavior and intriguing surface of the moon’s south polar region, according to a new paper using data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft.
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has been orbiting Saturn for only 5½ years, but in that time this remarkable craft has had occasion to pass near many of the planet’s 61 moons (six of which were discovered in its images). It’s an amazing bunch of bodies — variously big and small, smooth and cratered, gas-gushing and quiescent.
The Cassini orbiter has been working overtime during the holidays to deliver a cartload of gifts from Saturn and its moons. Highlights include fresh views of frost-spewing Enceladus and yam-shaped Prometheus, plus a “Nutcracker”-style ballet of Saturnian satellites.