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Cassini Photo: Stunning New Views of Saturn’s Hexagon Storm

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft snaps the highest-resolution images yet of Saturn’s mysterious “hexagon”—a six-sided jet stream circling the gas giant’s north pole.

NASA Reveals Saturn’s View Of Earth

NASA has unveiled a gorgeous Cassini spacecraft look at the Earth, Mars and Venus, as seen from behind Saturn. In orbit around the ringed planet since 2004, Cassini set up the image when it passed into Saturn’s shadow on July 19, 2013. That allowed the spacecraft to capture the arrangement of rings, moons and worlds seen…

New Titan Photos Showcase Lakes and Salt-Flats

Weather on Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, cleared this past summer, allowing NASA’s Cassini spacecraft to beam back revealing views of the giant lakes and Earth-like salt-flats that adorn the frozen mini-world. Northern spring is kicking into high gear on the ringed giant’s largest moon, bringing with it clear breaks from the cloudy winter weather. That is finally…

Humbling Views of Earth from Distant Spacecraft

The solar system just got a bit smaller thanks to two awe-inspiring portraits of Earth and the moon taken from nearly the opposite sides of the solar system. On Friday July 19th, Earth got a great two for one deal. Both NASA’s Cassini spacecraft at Saturn, nearly 900 million miles (1.5 billion kilometers) away, and…

On Friday, Earth Photobombs Saturn Shot

Prepare to have your picture taken from nearly a billion miles away.  On Friday, July 19, the Cassini spacecraft currently orbiting Saturn will look back towards the sun and take a cosmic family portrait of the back-lit ringed world with distant Earth beside it. (Get Time of Event from Around the World.) The event is…

Primetime Views of Saturn And an Upcoming Planetary Family Portrait

  Saturn and Earth will pose for a snapshot next month for a NASA orbiter while the gas giant puts its best face forward this week and next for evening skywatchers . Armchair astronomers can also catch this celestial lord of the rings through a special high definition, live SLOOH web broadcast June 18 from…

Did a Comet Make Jupiter’s Rings Wave?

When you’re talking about a gas giant planet with rings, it’s often Saturn in the limelight. After all, you can see that planet’s bright disk of icy particles from Earth with just a modest telescope. But in 1979 the Voyager 1 spacecraft saw that Jupiter has rings too, albeit a much fainter system primarily made…

New Pictures of Auroras — on Saturn!

As if having the most impressive rings in the solar system isn’t enough, Saturn also boasts some of the shiniest “footwear”—just check out new shots of the planet’s southern auroras: —Image courtesy NASA/JPL/University of Arizona/University of Leicester This quartet of candy-colored pictures comes from NASA’s Cassini orbiter, which carries a nifty tool that can collect…

Saturn Moons Have Class

Late last week scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena announced the discovery of a new class of moons orbiting Saturn: the giant propeller moons. Tracked over a four-year period by the Saturn-orbiting Cassini spacecraft, the moons create distinctive propeller shapes as they travel through the planet’s A ring, the outermost of the large,…

Pac-Man on the Moon

Saturn’s moon Mimas must be a fan of 1980s pop culture. Not satisfied with being labeled the “Death Star moon,” Mimas has now decided to host an interplanetary game of Pac-Man. paku-paku, paku-paku Scientists working with NASA’s Cassini orbiter yesterday released the highest resolution heat map to date of daytime temperatures on the icy moon.…

“Death Star” Moon Gets Its Close-Up

“That’s no moon. Oh, wait, yes it is!” —Image courtesy NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute When Luke said that TIE fighter was headed toward a “small moon,” he must have had Mimas on his mind. Since the 1980s this small Saturn moon has been likened to the fictional Death Star, thanks to its most noticeable blemish, the…

One Saturn Moon, Over Easy

Order up! —Image courtesy NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute Somewhere there’s an intergalactic diner that’s missing part of a really big blue-plate special. Of course, in reality this is Saturn‘s moon Prometheus cast in a rather unusual light, as seen by NASA’s Cassini orbiter on January 27. In this raw, unprocessed snapshot, Cassini caught the moon at…

Saturn’s Auroras Dance for Cassini

Wow. Just… wow. It looks like a computer animation, I know. But that, my friends, is an actual movie of Saturn’s northern auroras taken by the Cassini spacecraft. Witness the tallest northern lights in the solar system, stretching more than 746 miles (1,200 kilometers) above the planet’s polar limb (marked by the white hazy bit…

Saturn’s Equinox Arrives

After a successful four-year mission studying the ringed planet, the Cassini probe was still orbiting Saturn in near perfect health in June 2008. So NASA dug deep and found the funding to keep Cassini gainfully employed. The extension, dubbed the Equinox Mission, is primarily focused on changes wrought on Saturn by the onset of equinox,…

Star Trek! Need I Say More?

I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it. I’ve grown up on a stead diet of Star Trek—from the days when Mom confided to my preteen self that she married Dad because he reminded her of Mr. Spock, to just this week when I was talking to a coworker and found out I was…