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12 May 2020
Sounding Saturn’s depths with its seismic icy rings
The secrets of Saturn’s veiled interior are leaking out by way of the planet’s spectacular rings, according to a line of research that has taken four decades to come to fruition. In the last few years, what was first considered a sort of wacky hypothesis – that scientists can use Saturn’s rings to learn about its structure — has turned into a singular window into Saturn’s surprisingly fluid and leviathan depths.
16 April 2020
Dust devils may roam hydrocarbon dunes on Saturn’s moon Titan
Smoggy, with a chance of dust devils: conditions at the surface of Saturn’s moon Titan may spawn convective whirlwinds By Liza Lester Meteorological conditions on Saturn’s large moon Titan, the strange, distant world that may be the most Earth-like in the solar system, appear conducive to the formation of dust devils, according to new research in AGU’s journal Geophysical Research Letters. If true, these dry whirlwinds may be primary movers …
14 January 2020
Final images from Cassini spacecraft
For the last leg of its journey, Cassini was put on a particularly daring orbit passing between Saturn and its rings which brought it closer to Saturn than ever before. This allowed scientists to obtain images of Saturn’s ultraviolet auroras in unprecedented resolution. The new observations are detailed in two new studies published in the AGU journals.
5 September 2019
Making sense of Saturn’s impossible rotation
Saturn may be doing a little electromagnetic shimmy and twist which has been throwing off attempts by scientists to determine how long it takes for the planet to rotate on its axis, according to a new study.
11 April 2019
Extended winter polar vortices chill Saturn’s strangely familiar moon, Titan
Saturn’s hazy moon Titan has a long-lived Earth-like winter polar vortex supercharged by the moon’s peculiar chemistry. A new study finds Titan’s northern hemisphere polar vortex sticks around past the moon’s summer solstice, into what would be late June on Earth, lasting three-quarters of a Titan year, or about 22 Earth years.
27 December 2018
Rings make Saturn shadier, bluer and less hazy in winter
Saturn’s rings act like Venetian blinds that block sunlight for the hemisphere that’s tilted farther away from the Sun, limiting winter sunlight. This cuts down on the planet’s haze and golden glow.
24 October 2018
Researchers describe likely origin of perfect lines on Saturn’s moon
Strange features on Saturn’s moon Dione resembling lines of latitude on a map could be the result of space dust crashing onto Dione’s surface, according to a new study. The streaks have puzzled scientists because of their orientation and straightness, but a new study finds these features, deemed linear virgae, likely originated from low-velocity impacts of space debris from within the Saturn system or beyond.
9 July 2018
Listen: The sound of electromagnetic energy moving between Saturn, Enceladus
New research from Cassini’s up-close Grand Finale orbits shows a surprisingly powerful and dynamic interaction of plasma waves moving from Saturn to its moon Enceladus and its rings.
29 September 2016
Research suggests Saturn’s moon Dione may harbor a subsurface ocean
A subsurface ocean could lie deep within Saturn’s moon Dione, according to a new study using publicly available data from the Cassini mission to Saturn. In 2013, images from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft hinted that Dione had a subsurface ocean when the moon formed, but the new study suggests the ocean could still exist today.
21 June 2016
Saturn moon Enceladus’ ice shell likely thinner than expected
A vast ocean of water beneath the icy crust of Saturn’s moon Enceladus may be more accessible than previously thought, according to new research. A new study has revealed that near the moon’s poles, the ice covering Enceladus could be just two kilometers (one mile) thick—the thinnest known ice shell of any ocean-covered moon. The discovery not only changes scientists’ understanding of Enceladus’ structure, but also makes the moon a more appealing target for future exploration, according to the study’s authors.