Solar System

Future Planetary Probes Can Learn from Cassini

An unusual water composition at Saturn’s moon Phoebe means that future spacecraft will have to be on the lookout for different water ratios than we are used to on Earth.

Saturn's moons

Solar System

Saturn's Moon Dione Has Some Weird Stripes

Long straight parallel lines on the satellite's surface could be droppings from Saturn's rings, one of the moons, or a passing comet, researchers suggest.

Cassini at Saturn

Solar System

Four Things We Now Know About Saturn

Cassini gave an epic final show, going where no space probe had gone before. Here are a few interesting things we learned from that finale.

Illustration of dust storms on Titan

Solar System

60-Second Astro News: Dust Storms on Titan, Origin of Phobos

In astronomy news this week: Dust storms are seen blowing around Titan for the first time, and new clues from old data suggest that an impact on Mars gave birth to Phobos.

Saturn's hexagon

Astronomy in Space with David Dickinson

NASA's Cassini Sees Saturn's Towering Polar Hexagon

Cassini's legacy sheds more light on the strange mystery of Saturn's northern polar hexagon.

Meteor trail over Chelyabinsk

Solar System

AGU 2017: News from the Solar System

­­­Here's a quick look at results announced at the 2017 American Geophysical Union meeting in New Orleans: exploding meteoroids, Saturn's ring-atmosphere connection, and more bright spots on Ceres.

Saturn rings finale

Spacecraft and Space Missions

Surprising Science from Cassini's Grand Finale

You'd think scientists would have Saturn all figured out after watching it up close for 13 years. They don't.

Solar System

Cassini Is Gone: Its Legacy and the Future

After 13 years of orbiting the Saturn system, and 4.9 billion miles logged, the Cassini mission has ended, vaporized on re-entry into the ringed planet.

Cassini Grand Finale

Solar System

As Cassini Takes Its Final Plunge, What Will We Learn?

As Cassini dives into Saturn's atmosphere this Friday, ending 13 years of exploration, expect to probe the ringed planet's mysteries as never before.

Saturn Cassini

Astronomy in Space with David Dickinson

Saturn Surprises Right Up Until Cassini's End

Saturn keeps its secrets as NASA's Cassini spacecraft heads towards its September grand finale.

Daphnis

Solar System

Cassini Spies Daphnis Making Waves

NASA's Cassini returns stunning new views of Daphnis and friends from its ring-grazing orbits.

Exoplanet-hunting TESS spacecraft

Spacecraft and Space Missions

Looking Ahead: Space Exploration in 2017

An exciting year lies ahead for spaceflight involving astronomy and planetary science — by NASA and by other spacefaring nations.

Cassini final orbits

Solar System

Amazing Views of Saturn's "Polar Hexagon"

NASA's Cassini spacecraft delivers stunning views from its new orbital perch.

Cassini at Saturn

Solar System

The Beginning of the End for Cassini

Cassini's final main engine burn this weekend sets up the first act of a grand finale.

Two-faced Iapetus

Celestial News & Events

Iapetus Comes Over to the Bright Side

Astronomers now know the secret of this moon's strange two-faced appearance, but it's still remarkable to watch the "now you see it, now you don't" performance as it moves around Saturn.

Spacecraft and Space Missions

Drama at Saturn: The Birth (or Demise) of a Moonlet?

New images from NASA’s Cassini mission show bright spots along Saturn’s A ring, likely caused by a small moonlet in the process of forming or shattering.

Solar System

New View of Saturn's Hexagon

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has captured phenomenal images of the gigantic weather system at Saturn's north pole. This so-called "hexagon" is nearly three times wider than Earth is.

Solar System

Wave at Saturn (But Will Cassini See You?)

Cassini is taking our picture on Friday, but how much light do we humans actually reflect? We've crunched the numbers, and the answer may surprise you.

Spacecraft and Space Missions

Saturn is Making Waves

Just as it's coming closest to Earth, the big ringed planet is in the news in multiple ways — including the discovery of a long-lasting hurricane at its north pole.

Solar System

Giant "Hurricanes" Ring Saturn's Poles

NASA scientists are scratching their heads over the monstrously large swirls revealed by the Cassini orbiter at the planet's top and bottom.

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