A team of astronomers has succeeded in weighing the core of Saturn's brightest ring, known as the B ring, for the first time. The discovery, which made use of data collected by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, may lead to numerous insights regarding the age and formation of the ring system.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft recently completed the second of five planned burns designed to maneuver the spacecraft out of Saturn's ring plane, and into a polar orbit. The move is being made in preparation for the final phase of Cassini's mission, which will see the spacecraft perform a series of daring orbits, maximizing the probe's scientific output prior to the mission's termination.
NASA has released a stunning image captured by its Cassini spacecraft showcasing the gas giant's distinctive rings framed by three of its eclectic moons. The image was taken soon after the veteran spacecraft's final flyby of the icy moon Enceladus, which took place on Dec. 19.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft is preparing for its final flyby of the icy moon Enceladus. The pass is slated to take place on Dec. 19 at a distance of 3,106 miles (4,999 km). This final close proximity encounter of Enceladus comes as part of a farewell tour of Saturn's moons that have been so well characterized by the spacecraft, prior to beginning its "Grand Finale" mission late in 2016.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft has captured a perfectly-timed image featuring Saturn's moon Enceladus traversing the face of its larger companion Tethys. Also present in the image is Saturn's distinctive ring system.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft has revealed the presence of an enormous cloud located around the Saturnian moon Titan's southern polar region. The discovery comes as the spacecraft nears the end of its mission, which has stretch over a decade-long mission, and characterizes the ringed giant and its moons in spectacular fashion.
It's been a busy year for Cassini, making observations of Hyperion and Dione, before discovering evidence of a global ocean beneath the moon Enceladus' icy surface. Now the probe is back at Enceladus for another flyby, completing its deepest-ever dive through the body's icy plume.
NASA'S Cassini spacecraft has returned the closest ever view of the Saturnian moon Enceladus' north polar region as part of a data transmission from the spacecraft following the first of three close passes of the icy body. The flyby took place on Oct. 14, and saw the orbiter pass within 1,142 miles (1,839 km) of the enigmatic Moon.
Launched in 1997, NASA's Cassini orbiter mission to Saturn has lasted 18 years and 3 months so far – a considerable extension of its original four-year timetable. As its mission draws to an end, the unmanned, nuclear-powered spacecraft will execute the first of its final three flybys of Saturn's moon Enceladus. To take place between now and December, the close encounters are expected to provide a better understanding of the moon's global ocean and its possible habitability.
NASA scientists have discovered that one of Saturn's moons, Enceladus, may have a global ocean locked deep beneath its icy surface. Based on years of analysis of images taken by the unmanned Cassini probe, measurements of the moon's rotation indicate a slight wobble that's similar in nature to that which occurs when trying to spin a raw egg.