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E.g., 04/30/2017
E.g., 04/30/2017
Your search has returned 370 images:
  • Saturn's atmosphere
  • Cassini and Saturn
  • Titan magic island
Your search has returned 742 articles:
  • News in Brief

    Cassini’s ring dive offers first close-up of Saturn’s cloud tops

    Cassini has beamed back stunning images from the spacecraft’s daring dive between Saturn and its rings.

    The first closeup pictures of the planet’s atmosphere reveal peculiar threadlike clouds and puffy cumulus ones, plus the giant hurricane first spotted on Saturn in 2008 (SN: 11/8/08, p. 9). Released April 27, the images of Saturn’s cloud tops are a “big step forward” for understanding...

    04/27/2017 - 17:49 Planetary Science
  • Science Ticker

    In ‘grand finale,’ Cassini spacecraft sets off on collision course with Saturn

    View the animation

    Cassini is bravely going where no spacecraft has gone before — between Saturn and its rings.

    The probe, which launched in 1997 and has orbited Saturn since 2004, starts this daring expedition April 22. It will fly through the 2,400-kilometer-wide gap between Saturn and its rings 22 times before plunging into the planet’s atmosphere and burning up on Sept. 15....

    04/21/2017 - 07:00 Planetary Science
  • Science Ticker

    Bubbles may put mysterious fizz in Titan’s polar sea

    Saturn’s main moon, Titan, has a “magic island,” which might be made of streams of nitrogen bubbles, scientists report April 18 in Nature Astronomy.

    Images from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft show that the island, which appears as a bright spot, comes and goes. It sits in Ligeia Mare, a sea made of methane, ethane and nitrogen. The sea, located in Titan’s polar region, is probably between 100...

    04/18/2017 - 11:00 Planetary Science
  • News

    Food for microbes found on Enceladus

    Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus packs snacks suitable for microbial life.

    Data from the Cassini spacecraft show that the vaporous plume shooting out of the moon’s southern pole contains molecular hydrogen. It is probably generated when water in the moon’s subterranean ocean reacts with rock in its core, researchers report in the April 14 Science. Such reactions at hydrothermal vents and in...

    04/13/2017 - 14:00 Planetary Science, Astrobiology
  • News

    Jupiter’s Great Red Spot has company. Meet the Great Cold Spot

    Jupiter’s got a second giant spot.

    Called the Great Cold Spot, this dark mark is twice as big as Earth, but cooler and more fickle than the planet’s famous (and similarly sized) Great Red Spot. The cool spot sits in Jupiter’s northern regions, not far from the stunning northern aurora in the planet’s atmosphere. The aurora may play a role in creating the newly detected dark mark,...

    04/12/2017 - 12:00 Planetary Science, Astronomy
  • Feature

    Competing ideas abound for how Earth got its moon

    The moon’s origin story does not add up. Most scientists think that the moon formed in the earliest days of the solar system, around 4.5 billion years ago, when a Mars-sized protoplanet called Theia whacked into the young Earth. The collision sent debris from both worlds hurling into orbit, where the rubble eventually mingled and combined to form the moon.

    If that happened, scientists...

    04/04/2017 - 06:00 Planetary Science, Chemistry
  • News in Brief

    Extreme gas loss dried out Mars, MAVEN data suggest

    The Martian atmosphere definitely had more gas in the past.

    Data from NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft indicate that the Red Planet has lost most of the gas that ever existed in its atmosphere. The results, published in the March 31 Science, are the first to quantify how much gas has been lost with time and offer clues to how Mars went from a warm, wet place to a cold, dry one.

    Mars is...

    03/30/2017 - 14:46 Planetary Science
  • Soapbox

    It’s time to redefine what qualifies as a planet, scientists propose

    Pluto is a planet. It always has been, and it always will be, says Will Grundy of Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. Now he just has to convince the world of that.

    For centuries, the word planet meant “wanderer” and included the sun, the moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Eventually the moon and sun were dropped from the definition, but Pluto was included, after its...

    03/23/2017 - 09:00 Planetary Science
  • News

    How Pluto’s haze could explain its red spots

    Pluto may get its smattering of red spots from the fallout of its hazy blue skies, researchers say.

    Haze particles from the dwarf planet’s atmosphere settle onto all of Pluto’s surfaces. But some regions may become redder and darker than others because parts of the atmosphere collapse, exposing those spots to more surface-darkening radiation from space, researchers report March 22 at the...

    03/22/2017 - 09:41 Planetary Science
  • News in Brief

    Close pass by sun didn’t radically alter comet 67P’s landscape

    At least one of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko’s dusty outbursts was the result of a landslide. But such changes to the surface of the comet haven’t radically altered its appearance, suggesting it has had roughly the same look for decades — or longer.

    Images from the Rosetta spacecraft taken before its demise show what happened to the comet as it passed close to the sun in 2015. Cliffs...

    03/21/2017 - 10:30 Astronomy, Planetary Science