Saturn

Saturn’s full of soup: Cassini torpedoes gas giant theory from beyond the grave

Saturn’s full of soup: Cassini torpedoes gas giant theory from beyond the grave

Saturn's core is not the dense mass of rock that scientists once believed, but more likely a soupy sludge according to fresh analysis of data from the ill-fated Cassini spacecraft. Though NASA's probe may have met a crushing end as it plunged into the gas giant's atmosphere back in 2017, information about the way Saturn's rings wobble have unlocked unexpected details about what's deep inside.

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NASA Dragonfly mission objectives for ‘explorer’s utopia’ Titan detailed

NASA Dragonfly mission objectives for ‘explorer’s utopia’ Titan detailed

NASA's upcoming Dragonfly mission will send a spacecraft to Titan, the intriguing Saturn moon that researchers have described as an 'explorer's utopia.' A newly published study has detailed the broad mission objectives the Dragonfly team will focus on, noting that the planned exploration goals are broad at this time because so much about the moon remains a mystery.

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Researchers believe icequakes rumble on Saturn’s moon Enceladus

Researchers believe icequakes rumble on Saturn’s moon Enceladus

One of the more interesting moons orbiting a planet in our solar system circles the giant planet Saturn and is called Enceladus. Researchers believe that tidal stresses on the moon could be causing constant icequakes on the moon. Enceladus is of particular interest to astronomers and researchers because it's one of several places in the solar system that extraterrestrial life might exist.

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Scientists believe helium rain influences Saturn’s unique magnetic field

Scientists believe helium rain influences Saturn’s unique magnetic field

Researchers at Johns Hopkins have published the results of a study where they simulated the conditions necessary to create Saturn's unique magnetic field. The team believes a thick layer of helium rain influences the magnetic field of Saturn. Their models also suggest that the interior of Saturn may be at a higher temperature in equatorial areas.

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Astronomers directly measure winds in Jupiter’s middle atmosphere for the first time

Astronomers directly measure winds in Jupiter’s middle atmosphere for the first time

European Southern Observatory (ESO) astronomers have used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to directly measure winds in the middle atmosphere of Jupiter for the first time. Scientists analyzed the aftermath of a comet collision with Jupiter in the 1990s, and the research revealed incredibly powerful winds. Wind speeds are measured at up to 1450 kilometers an hour near Jupiter's poles.

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IBM researchers use atomic force microscopy to peer through Titan’s haze

IBM researchers use atomic force microscopy to peer through Titan’s haze

Scientists are trying to learn all they can about the largest moon orbiting Saturn called Titan. One reason for the scrutiny of Titan is that researchers believe it might hold clues about the early stages of the evolution of life here on Earth. The challenge of studying Titan is that the moon is covered in a hazy atmosphere of brownish-orange fog comprised of organic aerosols.

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Saturn’s moon Titan estimated to have a sea at least 1000 feet deep

Saturn’s moon Titan estimated to have a sea at least 1000 feet deep

One of the places that many scientists believe could harbor life in our solar system is on the surface of Titan, Saturn's largest moon. Titan has a gaseous atmosphere and scientists believe beneath that atmosphere is a sea of liquid methane known as Kraken Mare. Astronomers at Cornell have now estimated the sea of liquid methane is at least 1000 feet deep near its center.

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Saturn and Jupiter will form the “Christmas Star” this month

Saturn and Jupiter will form the “Christmas Star” this month

2020 has been a dumpster fire in most aspects, but there have been some bright spots for amateur astronomers and sky watchers. Another event is happening in the nighttime sky this month that skywatchers will want to pay attention to. In the nighttime sky, Jupiter and Saturn are meeting up, something they do every 20 years.

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NASA discovers bizarre molecule in the atmosphere of Titan

NASA discovers bizarre molecule in the atmosphere of Titan

NASA scientists have discovered an extraordinary molecule in the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan. The molecule has never been detected in any other atmosphere in the solar system. The rare molecule is called cyclopropenyliden. It's a simple carbon-based molecule that could be a precursor to more complex compounds that could form and feed possible life on Titan.

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ALMA detects direct evidence of volcanic activity in Io’s atmosphere

ALMA detects direct evidence of volcanic activity in Io’s atmosphere

One of the celestial bodies that astronomers and researchers are studying intently is Jupiter's moon Io. New radio images from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have shown direct evidence of volcanic activity on Io for the first time. The moon has an extremely thin atmosphere, said to be about a billion times thinner than Earth's atmosphere. Despite its extreme thinness, the atmosphere can provide a window into the moon's interior and what's happening below its crust.

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Hubble Space Telescope snaps a beautiful image of Saturn

Hubble Space Telescope snaps a beautiful image of Saturn

The image seen below is a new shot of Saturn taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in early July 2020. The image is so crisp that it almost looks like an artist rendering, but NASA assures it's an actual image of the ringed planet. We can see the concentric ring structure around the planet in detail.

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