Saturn TOP STORY

Organic Molecules in Titan's Atmosphere Are Intriguingly Skewed

© NRAO

HCN in Titan's Atmosphere

While studying the atmosphere on Saturn's moon Titan, scientists discovered intriguing zones of organic molecules unexpectedly shifted away from its north and south poles.


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Saturn TOP STORIES

Wobbling of Mimas Hints at What Lies Beneath

© NASA/JPL/SSI

Mimas and Saturn

Using instruments aboard the Cassini spacecraft to measure the wobbles of Mimas Cornell University astronomer publishing in Science has inferred that this small moon's icy surface cloaks either a rugby ball-shaped rocky core or a sloshing sub-surface ocean.

Polar Clouds on Titan Are Composed of Hydrogen Cyanide

Polar Clouds on Titan Are Composed of Hydrogen Cyanide

Scientists analyzing data from NASA's Cassini mission have discovered that a giant, toxic cloud is hovering over the south pole of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, after the atmosphere there cooled dramatically.


Cassini Watches Mysterious Feature Evolve in Titan Sea

Cassini Watches Mysterious Feature Evolve in Titan Sea

NASA's Cassini spacecraft is monitoring the evolution of a mysterious feature in a large hydrocarbon sea on Saturn's moon Titan.


Bright Clumps in Saturn's Ring Are Now Mysteriously Scarce

Bright Clumps in Saturn's Ring Are Now Mysteriously Scarce

Compared to the age of the solar system -- about four-and-a-half billion years -- a couple of decades are next to nothing.


Mini-Moons Around Saturn Are Quickly Created and Destroyed

Mini-Moons Around Saturn Are Quickly Created and Destroyed

There is an ongoing drama in the Saturnian ring system that causes small moons to be born and then destroyed on time scales that are but an eyeblink in the history of the solar system.


Icy Aquifers on Titan Transform Methane Rainfall

Icy Aquifers on Titan Transform Methane Rainfall

The Cassini mission has revealed hundreds of lakes and seas spread across the north polar region of Saturn's moon Titan. These lakes are filled not with water but with hydrocarbons, a form of organic compound that is also found naturally on Earth and includes methane.


Supreme Saturn

Supreme Saturn

Saturn reigns supreme, encircled by its retinue of rings.


Cassini Sees Northern Clouds Returning to Titan

Cassini Sees Northern Clouds Returning to Titan

As NASA's Cassini spacecraft sped away from Titan following a relatively close flyby, its cameras monitored the moon's northern polar region, capturing signs of renewed cloud activity.


Saturn Dwarfs Tiny Moon Epimetheus and Larger Rhea

Saturn Dwarfs Tiny Moon Epimetheus and Larger Rhea

Saturn has a great many more moons than our planet - a whopping 62. A single moon, Titan, accounts for an overwhelming 96% of all the material orbit the planet, with a group of six other smaller moons dominating the rest. The other 55 small satellites whizzing around Saturn make up the tiny remainder along with the gas giant's famous rings.


Saturn's Polar Vortex and Rings

Saturn's Polar Vortex and Rings

The Cassini spacecraft captures three magnificent sights at once: Saturn's north polar vortex and hexagon along with its expansive rings.


Atlas Seen Emerging From Darkness

Atlas Seen Emerging From Darkness

The Cassini spacecraft captures a glimpse of the moon Atlas shortly after emerging from Saturn's shadow. Although the sunlight at Saturn's distance is feeble compared to that at the Earth, objects cut off from the Sun within Saturn's shadow cool off considerably.


Cassini Reveals 101 Geysers on Enceladus

Cassini Reveals 101 Geysers on Enceladus

This artist's rendering shows a cross-section of the ice shell immediately beneath one of Enceladus' geyser-active fractures, illustrating the physical and thermal structure and the processes ongoing below and at the surface.


Saturn Imitates the Moon

Saturn Imitates the Moon

Saturn appears to Cassini's cameras as a thin, sunlit crescent in this unearthly view. Citizens of Earth, being so much closer to the Sun than Saturn, never get to enjoy a view of Saturn like this without the aid of our robot envoys.


The Moon Eclipses Saturn

The Moon Eclipses Saturn

What happened to half of Saturn? Nothing other than Earth's Moon getting in the way. As pictured above on the far right, Saturn is partly eclipsed by a dark edge of a Moon itself only partly illuminated by the Sun.


Ocean on Saturn's Moon Titan Could be as Salty as the Dead Sea

Ocean on Saturn's Moon Titan Could be as Salty as the Dead Sea

Scientists analyzing data from NASA's Cassini mission have firm evidence the ocean inside Saturn's largest moon, Titan, might be as salty as the Earth's Dead Sea.


Cassini Names Final Mission Phase Its 'Grand Finale'

Cassini Names Final Mission Phase Its 'Grand Finale'

With input from more than 2,000 members of the public, team members on NASA's Cassini mission to Saturn have chosen a name for the final phase of the mission: the Cassini Grand Finale.


Titan's Building Blocks Might Pre-date Saturn

Titan's Building Blocks Might Pre-date Saturn

A combined NASA and ESA-funded study has found firm evidence that nitrogen in the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan originated in conditions similar to the cold birthplace of the most ancient comets from the Oort cloud. The finding rules out the possibility that Titan's building blocks formed within the warm disk of material thought to have surrounded the infant planet Saturn during its formation.



More top stories from October.