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All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘cassini’

NASA’s Cassini Probe Finds Accelerated Particles Around Saturn

NASA this week revealed that a “chance encounter” with solar wind around Saturn has allowed the Cassini probe to detect particles being accelerated to high energy states. The phenomenon is similar to the acceleration of high-energy cosmic rays found coming from supernova remnants just last week. The findings, published this week in the journal Nature Physics, show how certain kinds …

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Cassini Spots Smog Formation on Titan

A new paper using data from NASA‘s Cassini probe has described in detail how aerosols begin to form in the highest part of the atmosphere of Saturn’s moon Titan. The research, say scientists, could help predict how “smoggy aerosol layers” behave on Earth. The study, published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, states that …

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Cassini Spotted Storm Eating Itself on Saturn

NASA‘s Cassini probe has spotted a storm on Saturn that has “consumed” itself. The massive storm whirled around the planet until it ran into its own tail end and dispersed. A new paper on the event, published in the journal Icarus, describes it as the first time researchers have ever seen such a thing happen in the solar system. “This …

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Titan’s Craters Could be Filled With Hydrocarbon Sand, Says NASA

New findings from NASA‘s Cassini probe have revealed that Saturn’s moon Titan may look younger than it really is. Dunes of hydrocarbon sand have been slowly filling up the craters that pockmark the moon. “Most of the Saturnian satellites – Titan’s siblings – have thousands and thousands of craters on their surface,” said Catherine Neish, a Cassini radar team associate …

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Ice May Float on Titan’s Seas, Finds New Study

Scientists have published a new study that concludes Saturn’s moon Titan might have ice floating in its seas. The presence of hydrocarbon ice in Titan’s methane lakes and seas could explain the mixed readings NASA‘s Cassini probe has seen while recording the reflectivity of the moon’s surface. “One of the most intriguing questions about these lakes and seas is whether …

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NASA Releases New Cassini, Spitzer Photos For the Holidays

Just in time for the holidays, NASA has released two new space photos filled with festive greens and reds. The photo seen above (a larger version of which can be seen here) was taken using NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. the infrared image depicts the giant star Zeta Ophiuchi as it hurtles through space, causing a wave in the dust in …

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Cassini to Track Venus Transit, Study Exoplanets

NASA announced today that it will begin using the Cassini probe’s visual and infrared mapping spectrometer (VIMS) for uses other than studying Saturn and its moons. On Friday, from its vantage point in orbit around Saturn, the VIMS will be used to track Venus as it travels across the face of the sun. A similar Venus transit could be seen …

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Cassini Spots “Mini Nile River” on Saturn’s Titan

The Cassini probe orbiting Saturn and its moons has photographed what the European Space Agency (ESA) is calling a “miniature extraterrestrial version of the Nile river” on Saturn’s moon Titan. The formation is a river valley on the the moon’s surface that runs for over 400 km (248 miles) from its source to a large sea. The radar image is …

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Huge Saturn Storm Photographed by Cassini

NASA today released photos taken by the Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn and its moons. The images reveal a “swirling vortex” that covers part of Saturn’s north polar hexagon. NASA stated that Cassini has been traversing Saturn’s system in tilted orbits, which gave mission scientists these amazing views of the planet’s polar region. The images were taken on Tuesday, when Cassini …

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Titan’s Atmosphere Shifts Abruptly, South Pole Vortex Forms

New data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft shows that a shift in seasonal sunlight has resulted in an abrupt, wholesale reversal in the circulation of the atmosphere of Saturn’s moon Titan. According to researchers, the data shows “definitive” evidence for sinking air at the moon’s south pole where previously the air was upwelling. A paper on the data published today in …

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NASA Spots Pac-Man-Shaped Thermal Pattern on Saturn Moon

Scientists working on NASA‘s Cassini mission have spotted a second feature shaped like Pac-Man on one of Saturn’s Moon. The pattern appears in thermal data from the moon Tethys, taken using Cassini’s composite infrared spectrometer. A similar thermal pattern was spotted on Saturn’s moon Mimas back in 2010. “Finding a second Pac-Man in the Saturn system tells us that the …

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NASA Celebrates Cassini Mission With an Interactive Timeline

Like many NASA space vehicles, the Cassini-Huygens probe has completed its primary mission but continues to provide a wealth of information for scientists on Earth. In the past month, data from Cassini has revealed a “hot cross bun” structure on Saturn’s moon Titan, as well as the fact that Titan glows in the dark. One month ago, the Cassini probe …

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