Category: saturn

Saturn and its moons at opposition (The visi…

Saturn and its moons at opposition (The visible moons are (from left to right) Dione, Enceladus, Tethys, Janus, Epimetheus and Mimas

Credit:

NASA, ESA, A. Simon (GSFC) and the OPAL Team, and J. DePasquale (STScI)

On this day in 1977 was launched the space pro…

On this day in 1977 was launched the space probe Voyager 1.

Voyager 1 is a space probe launched by NASA on September 5, 1977. Part of the Voyager program to study the outer Solar System, Voyager 1 launched 16 days after its twin, Voyager 2. Having operated for 41 years as of September 5, 2018, the spacecraft still communicates with the Deep Space Network to receive routine commands and return data. At a distance of 142.31 astronomical units from the Sun as of June 4, 2018, it is the most distant man-made object from Earth.

The probe’s objectives included flybys of Jupiter, Saturn, and Saturn’s largest moon, Titan. While the spacecraft’s course could have been altered to include a Pluto encounter by forgoing the Titan flyby, exploration of the moon, which was known to have a substantial atmosphere, took priority. It studied the weather, magnetic fields and rings of the two planets and was the first probe to provide detailed images of their moons. (read more)

Voyager 1 Trajectory through the Solar System

Vertical structures, among the tallest seen …

Vertical structures, among the tallest seen in Saturn’s main rings, rise abruptly from the edge of Saturn’s B ring to cast long shadows on the ring in this image taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft two weeks before the planet’s August 2009 equinox.

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

This image is a composite of observations ma…

This image is a composite of observations made of Saturn in early 2018 in the optical and of the auroras on Saturn’s north pole region, made in 2017

Credit: ESA/Hubble, NASA, A. Simon (GSFC) and the OPAL Team, J. DePasquale (STScI), L. Lamy (Observatoire de Paris)

Window to Saturn (illustration)Image credit:…

Window to Saturn (illustration)

Image credit:NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/Kevin M. Gill

Why does Saturn have a ring and how was the ri…

Why does Saturn have a ring and how was the ring made?

It is not only Saturn that has rings, Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune also has rings, although they are more discreet.

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The origin of the rings is unknown. The first theory concluded that its formation occurred along with that of the planets about 4 billion years ago, but recent studies indicate that they are younger, only a few hundred million years old. Another theory suggests that a comet disintegrated due to tidal forces as it passed near Saturn. Another possibility is the collision of a comet with a moon of Saturn that, when disintegrating, would have formed the mysterious structure.

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Saturn, Dione, Rhea, and Epimetheus & Satu…

Saturn, Dione, Rhea, and Epimetheus & Saturn and Enceladus.

Credit:

NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/CICLOPS/Kevin M. Gill

Images of the Earth and the moon above the Rin…

Images of the Earth and the moon above the Rings of Saturn taken by Cassini on April 13, 2017.

Credit:

NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/CICLOPS/Kevin M. Gill

This image shows the recent observations of …

This image shows the recent observations of the planets Mars and Saturn made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The observations of both objects were made in June and July 2018 and show the planets close to their opposition.

Credit: NASA/ESA, Hubble

These six infrared images of Saturn’s …

These six infrared images of Saturn’s moon Titan represent some of the clearest, most seamless-looking global views of the icy moon’s surface produced so far. The views were created using 13 years of data acquired by the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) instrument on board NASA’s Cassini spacecraft.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Nantes/University of Arizona