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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, 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 »

Jupiter Forecast: Rain, With Chance of Diamonds

Two scientists float the possibility of liquid gems in space

(Newser) - It's just a theory, but a pretty dazzling one. Two scientists this week laid out the tantalizing possibility that Jupiter sees raindrops of liquid diamond and Saturn gets diamond hail, reports Nature . If true, both planets would be teeming with the gems. "If you had a robot there,... More »

New Find on Moon of Saturn: Plastic

Or at least a molecule used to make it

(Newser) - Earth and Saturn now have something in common: plastic. NASA's Cassini spacecraft detected the molecule propylene on Saturn's moon Titan, and propylene is one of the basic ingredients of modern plastic here on Earth, reports the BBC . It's the first extraterrestrial plastic ingredient ever found, reports NASA'... More »

Photos of Earth, Taken 900M Miles Away

We're just a dot in NASA pics

(Newser) - Stunning new pictures taken from near Saturn and Mercury make our planet look pretty insignificant. We're just a tiny dot next to Saturn in an image taken by the NASA spacecraft Cassini, reports. That makes it a little tough to see that some 20,000 humans were... More »

NASA Spots Colossal Saturn Hurricane

It's bigger, more powerful, and longer-lasting than Earth counterpart

(Newser) - The hurricane roiling around Saturn's north pole looks a lot like a hurricane on Earth—except much, much bigger. Its eye is about 20 times bigger than Earth standards at 1,250 miles wide, and the storm is also more powerful, with winds as high as 330mph. A NASA... More »

Scientists Want 'Space Boat' to Explore Titan's Lakes

Saturn's moon is full of lakes, rivers, seas

(Newser) - If you think the Mars rover is cool, wait until you hear this: Scientists want to send a "space boat" to explore Saturn's largest moon, Titan. The floating probe would land in one of the moon's many methane lakes and would explore its many lakes, rivers, and... More »

Huge Lake Found in Titan's Tropics

Discovery suggests underground channels

(Newser) - University of Arizona researchers have discovered a massive methane lake in the arid tropics of Titan, they announced today, suggesting that Saturn's biggest moon may have subterranean channels of the liquid. Titan has long been known to contain liquid methane, which forms pools, clouds, and rains much as water... More »

'Snowball Fight' Spotted in Saturn's Weirdest Ring

Cassini probe captures objects punching through ring

(Newser) - Inside Saturn's outermost ring, NASA's Cassini probe has captured activity that researchers liken to a cosmic snowball fight. Hundreds of balls of snow and ice up to half a mile in diameter have been spotted punching through the F ring at gentle speeds, leaving glittering trails behind them,... More »

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