Saturn

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'Bittersweet' End for Cassini Saturn Probe

'I've never watched a spacecraft die': NASA team member

(Newser) - Three missions, 20 years in space, 4.9 billion miles traveled, and nearly a half-million photographs taken. Those are just a few of the figures Space.com throws out about the day of what it deems the "bittersweet" demise of the Cassini space probe , which, on its last fumes... More »

Mission Complete: Cassini Burns Up Over Saturn

Spacecraft vaporizes after 20-year journey exploring planet

(Newser) - Cassini is no more. NASA, and the world, are saying goodbye to the Cassini spacecraft Friday morning after it burned up over Saturn as planned. Cassini plunged through the planet's atmosphere and vaporized like a meteor, ending a remarkable journey of 20 years, per the AP . "Our @CassiniSaturn... More »

Cassini Gets Kiss Goodbye, Careens Toward Its Death

Spacecraft will forever become one with the planet on Friday

(Newser) - After a 20-year voyage, NASA's Cassini spacecraft is poised to dive into Saturn this week to become forever one with the exquisite planet. There's no turning back: Friday it careens through the atmosphere and burns up like a meteor in the sky over Saturn. The only spacecraft ever... More »

Forget Mars: Humans May Live Here One Day

Titan, Saturn's largest moon, has potential to be home to humans

(Newser) - Move over, Mars: Titan could be the best place for a human colony. As far as extraterrestrial bodies go, Saturn's largest moon is surprisingly like Earth, with a dense atmosphere that could shield delicate earthlings from radiation, reports New Scientist . Titan's candidacy as a settlement isn't new,... More »

Daring Mission Snaps Closest Ever Images of Saturn

Cassini probe dives between Saturn's rings

(Newser) - The view of a planet that’s 746 million miles away just got a little clearer, thanks to a historic first by NASA's Cassini probe. The spacecraft completed a dive between Saturn and its rings, capturing data and images of the planet never seen before. The first photos began... More »

NASA Finds Food Source for Possible Extraterrestrial Life

The vapor plumes emitted by a moon of Saturn contain molecular hydrogen

(Newser) - Scientists have found a potential food source for microbes on one of Saturn's tiny moons—and that could dramatically increase the chance of finding life beyond Earth, CBC reports. In a research paper published Thursday in Science , NASA reveals its Cassini spacecraft discovered molecular hydrogen in the plumes of... More »

Cassini Mission to Saturn Will End in Death, Discovery

The spacecraft will soon plunge into Saturn itself

(Newser) - Two decades after putting Earth in its rear-view mirror, the Cassini spacecraft is preparing to wrap up its mission to Saturn—and that means plunging to its death in the planet's atmosphere, according to a press release . Cassini has been orbiting Saturn since 2004, sending back information on the... More »

Study: Saturn's Rings, Moons Are Younger Than Dinosaurs

And that's surprisingly young

(Newser) - Scientists may have overestimated how old Saturn's rings and moons are—by more than 4 billion years. In fact, the planet's rings and many of its 62 moons likely didn't form until dinosaurs were around to see it happen, Discovery reports. Researchers from the SETI Institute measured... More »

5 Brightest Planets Begin Rising Together

Look for them: Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and Mercury

(Newser) - Like stargazing in the pre-dawn hours? Then here you go: The sky's five brightest planets visible from Earth will soon be lined up for the first time in over a decade, the Conversation reports. Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, and Venus—which have been up visible together since early January—will... More »

NASA Baffled by Red Arcs on Saturn Moon

New images reveal unusual marks on Tethys

(Newser) - Scientists are baffled after sighting several large, reddish arcs across the surface of one of Saturn's moons. The markings on Tethys are a few miles wide and several hundred miles long, per NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory . The images were taken by the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft, and while photos it... More »

Single Photo Shows 3 Crescent Moons

Image from Cassini orbiter shows Titan, Rhea, and Mimas in all their crescent glory

(Newser) - It's not often (as in never) that we're able to look up into the night sky and see three crescent moons floating serenely above us. But thanks to a picture from the Cassini orbiter released by NASA, we're able to get a rare look at what three... More »

Saturn's Outer Ring Holds More Surprises

It's way bigger than previously thought, but made up of small particles

(Newser) - About six years ago, scientists discovered a huge ring around Saturn that also happened to be invisible to the naked eye. Now, they've learned that it's much bigger than they thought, and their theory on how it came to be might change some thinking about planetary rings and... More »

Top Contender for Life Outside Earth: a Saturn Moon

Enceladus has a warm ocean, hydrothermal activity

(Newser) - Thanks to the Cassini spacecraft, we already knew that one of Saturn's moons has a big ocean . Now things have gotten more interesting on Enceladus. It turns out that the ocean is not only warm, it seems to have the same kind of hydrothermal activity going on as oceans... More »

NASA Wants to Send a Submarine to Saturn Moon

Kraken Mare is a liquid methane sea roughly the size of the Great Lakes

(Newser) - Saturn's moon Titan, which happens to be larger than the planet Mercury, is cold. Very cold. As in -290 degrees Fahrenheit is not out of the ordinary. These super low temps, combined with an atmosphere roughly 1.5 times as dense as Earth's, have resulted in a few... More »

Giant Exoplanet's Rings a 'Super Saturn'

Impressive 30-ring system is 200 times larger than Saturn

(Newser) - In 2012, scientists discovered a giant exoplanet (one that orbits a star other than our sun) with a ring system so impressive it eclipses its own host star. Now, thanks to a recent eclipse where planet J1407b lined up in front of host star J1407, scientists at the University of... More »

Saturn Moon's 'Magic Island' Reappears, Stumps NASA

Island-like feature on one of Titan's largest hydrocarbon seas just doubled in size

(Newser) - NASA's Cassini spacecraft first spotted a mysterious island-like feature in Ligeia Mare—a large hydrocarbon sea on Titan, the largest of Saturn's moons—in July 2013. When it faded away during later imaging, some scientists dubbed it "Magic Island." Then last month radar images showed that... More »

'Magic Island' Spotted on Saturn Moon

Mysterious bright spot may be geological activity on Titan

(Newser) - Astronomers are feeling giddy about a flash of light on a very odd moon, phys.org reports. Radar images show that a bright object appeared briefly on Saturn's moon Titan, possible proof of geological activity on a lunar surface that boasts wind, rain, lakes, and seas (though liquid methane... More »

Meet Peggy, New Saturn Moon

Scientists think they've spotted a tiny one being formed

(Newser) - Astronomers think they're seeing a first—the birth of a Saturn moon. NASA's Cassini spacecraft spotted what the LA Times describes as a "fuzzy blob" near one of the planet's rings, though astronomers may not know for sure whether the maybe-moon they've nicknamed "Peggy"... More »

Saturn Moon Now 'Best Bet' for Finding Life

Probe finds new signs of underground Enceladus ocean

(Newser) - Saturn's sixth-largest moon holds an underground ocean with at least as much water as Lake Superior, according to exciting new data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft that makes some scientists believe Enceladus is now the place in our solar system where we're most likely to find extraterrestrial life.... More »

GM Recalls 1.2M SUVs

64K Cadillac sedans also called back

(Newser) - As it deals with reports of a possible 303 deaths linked to ignition-switch problems, General Motors is issuing another recall—this time of 1.2 million SUVs and several hundred thousand other vehicles. The company needs to fix wiring for a side airbag in the SUVs, CNNMoney reports. Customers may... More »

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