Science Daily: Saturn

New insights into 'ocean worlds' in our solar system

Two veteran NASA missions are providing new details about icy, ocean-bearing moons of Jupiter and Saturn, further heightening the scientific interest of these and other "ocean worlds" in our solar system and beyond. Scientists announce that a form of chemical energy that life can feed on appears to exist on Saturn's moon Enceladus, and researchers also report additional evidence of plumes erupting from Jupiter's moon Europa.

How a young-looking lunar volcano hides its true age

A young-looking volcanic caldera on the Moon has been interpreted by some as evidence of relatively recent lunar volcanic activity, but new research suggests it's not so young after all.

The electric sands of Titan

Experiments suggest the particles that cover the surface of Saturn's moon, Titan, are 'electrically charged.' When the wind blows hard enough, Titan's non-silicate granules get kicked up and start to hop in a motion. As they collide, they become frictionally charged, like a balloon rubbing against your hair, and clump together in a way not observed for sand dune grains on Earth -- they become resistant to further motion.

Does Mars have rings? Not right now, but maybe one day

Researchers have developed a model that suggests that debris that was pushed into space from an asteroid or other body slamming into Mars around 4.3 billion years ago and alternates between becoming a planetary ring and clumping up to form a moon.

Cassini reveals strange shape of Saturn's moon Pan

New images of Saturn's tiny moon, Pan, were taken on March 7, 2017, by NASA's Cassini spacecraft. These images are the closest images ever taken of Pan and will help to characterize its shape and geology.

New NASA radar technique finds lost lunar spacecraft

A new technological application of interplanetary radar has successfully located spacecraft orbiting the moon -- one active, and one dormant. This new technique could assist planners of future moon missions.

Craters show Earth is bombarded at random

Asteroids don't hit our planet at regular intervals, as was previously thought. Earth scientists have reached this conclusion after analyzing impact craters formed in the last 500 million years, concentrating on precisely dated events.

Saturn's rings viewed in the mid-infrared show bright Cassini division

Researchers has succeeded in measuring the brightnesses and temperatures of Saturn's rings using the mid-infrared images taken by the Subaru Telescope in 2008. They reveal that, at that time, the Cassini Division and the C ring were brighter than the other rings in the mid-infrared light and that the brightness contrast appeared to be the inverse of that seen in the visible light. The data give important insights into the nature of Saturn's rings.

Kepler, don't give up on the hunt for exomoons

Researchers have demonstrated for the first time that it is possible for a planetary collision to form a moon large enough for Kepler to detect. Scientists conducted a series of around 30 simulations to explore how various factors affect moon creation.

The moon is older than scientists thought

The moon is much older than some scientists believe, a research team now reports. Their precise analysis of zircons bought to Earth by Apollo 14 astronauts reveals the moon is at least 4.51 billion years old and probably formed only about 60 million years after the birth of the solar system -- 40 to 140 million years earlier than recently thought.

How Earth's previous moons collided to form the moon: New theory

A new theory suggests the Moon we see every night is not Earth's first moon, but rather the last in a series of moons that orbited our planet. Moons formed through the process could cross orbits, collide and merge, slowly building the bigger moon we see today.

Solar storms could spark soils at moon's poles

Powerful solar storms can charge up the soil in frigid, permanently shadowed regions near the lunar poles, and may possibly produce 'sparks' that could vaporize and melt the soil, perhaps as much as meteoroid impacts, according to new research. This alteration may become evident when analyzing future samples from these regions that could hold the key to understanding the history of the moon and solar system.

NASA moon data provides more accurate 2017 eclipse path

Thanks to elevation data of the moon from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, coupled with detailed NASA topography data of Earth, we have the most accurate maps of the path of totality for any eclipse to date.

First look at new, extremely rare galaxy

Approximately 359 million light-years from Earth, there is a galaxy with an innocuous name (PGC 1000714) that doesn't look quite like anything astronomers have observed before. New research provides a first description of a well-defined elliptical-like core surrounded by two circular rings -- a galaxy that appears to belong to a class of rarely observed, Hoag-type galaxies.