For a long time researches observing the Saturn and its system of satellites, and came to a conclusion, that liquid lakes on Titan can dry up completely. The American Kassini spacecraft and its onboard scientific tools long time investigated the largest satellite of Saturn – the Titan, which is known that is the only heavenly body in our Solar System, without considering our own planet, which has liquid on the surface. Notorious lakes on Titan play on this natural satellite the same role, as water on Earth. Methane on the Titan takes active part in liquid circulation. It evaporates, and then drops out in the form of a precipitation. Everything happens practically just as and on Earth to water. Recently, scientists came to a conclusion, that on the Titan is not only methane, but also ethane, which evaporates not as rapidly as methane, but also it can not help the Titan, with preservation of its liquid on a surface. By estimates of scientists of team of the American Space Agency NASA
A team led by Christophe Sotin of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, drew a conclusion, that there is not only methane on the Titan, but also his colleague – ethane. Titan is the largest satellite of Saturn For a long time the scientists from the American Space Agency NASA investigated the largest natural satellite of Saturn – the Titan, who is well-known for that is the only heavenly body, except Earth, which has stable liquid on the surface. It is known, that the Titan has liquid methane lakes of the surface. Methane on a surface of the Titan plays the same role, as water on Earth. It evaporates, and then drops out in the form of a precipitation. Long-term supervision over a surface of the Titan with help of the American spacecraft Kassini satellite and its onboard scientific tools show that the lakes on a surface of the Titan gradually dry up and become the smaller size on the occupied space.
The group of astronomers from LeicesterUniversity (Britain) collected the proofs on which the rings of Saturn daily lose huge volumes of substance, which drops out in a planet ionosphere. It is known, that rings of a planet consist both of submillimetric particles of ice, and of huge blocks with size in kilometers. If large fragments of ice move in rings on Keplerian orbits, movement of small particles if they receive rather big electric charge a bit different. Like particles of a solar wind in near-earth space, these micro particles of ice are capable to leave the plane of rings and, being cast over power lines of a magnetic field, to travel to Saturn. If this is so, scientists argued, a certain stream of weight has to drop out constantly at different widths of the atmosphere of Saturn. To see a stream of the frozen water they didn’t hope, but it was succeeded to notice characteristic signs of this process. Scientists noted, that this sleet drops out in a planet ionosphere generally at the widths from 25 to 60 degrees, and as a whole such loaded precipitation covers from 30 to 43% of a atrmosphere of Saturn. For this moment it is unclear, whether water reaches the planet atmosphere in the form of ions or in the form of the submillimetric loaded particles of ice. The main result is not in an assessment of evolution or time of life of rings, and that we see in the atmosphere of Saturn.
Last Saturday on March 9, the Cassini (Cassini is a NASAs’ robotic spacecraft sent to the Saturn planet) was most near to the Saturn moon Rhea , for the first time. During this close passing the Cassini did the image of the Rhea. The purpose of flyby was to observe the internal structure of the Rhea. This probe was done by measuring the gravitation pull of Rhea. The results of probe will help the scientists to find out if the Rhea, which has 950 mile wide, is homogeneous, or it is separated into core layers of mental. The distance of Cassini from the Saturn moon Rhea was 997 kilometers, and from this distance it was possible to capture the terrain of the Moon. The Rhea is the second largest moons of Saturn among the 62 moons. It has a surface with a lot of ice and craters. In the composing of Rhea is including rocks and water ice. The researchers also searched the dust flying off the moon, which will determine the micrometeorites’ impacts rate on the surface of the Rhea.
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has delivered view of Saturn, taken while the spacecraft was in Saturn’s shadow. The cameras were turned toward Saturn and the sun so that the planet and rings are backlit. This special, very-high-phase viewing geometry lets scientists study ring and atmosphere phenomena not easily seen at a lower phase. Since images like this can only be taken while the sun is behind the planet, this beautiful view is all the more precious for its rarity. The last time Cassini captured a view like this was in Sept. 2006, when it captured a mosaic processed to look like natural color.
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft made its closest approach to Saturn’s tiny moon Methone as part of a trajectory that will take it on a close flyby of another of Saturn’s moons, Titan. The Titan flyby will put the spacecraft in an orbit around Saturn that is inclined, or tilted, relative to the plane of the planet’s equator. The flyby of Methone took place on May 20 at a distance of about 1,200 miles (1,900 kilometers).
Astronomers have discovered at least one unseen alien planet, and possibly another, around a distant star by observing the odd behavior of a planet already known to orbit the same star. The newfound planet has about the mass of Saturn and orbits its host star once every 57 days. It was revealed by its gravitational effects on the previously known planet around the parent star KOI-872. The find is an apparent validation of what scientists call the transit timing variation method of finding extrasolar planets.
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft will be flying within about 46 miles (74 kilometers) of Saturn’s moon Enceladus (Enceladus is the sixth-largest of the moons of Saturn, it was discovered in 1789 by William Herschel) on May 2, aiming primarily to learn more about the moon’s internal structure. The flyby is the third part of a trilogy of flybys, the other two took place on April 28, 2010, and November 30, 2010, for Cassini’s radio science experiment.
Data from NASA’s Cassini mission reveal Saturn’s moon Phoebe has more planet-like qualities than previously thought. Scientists had their first close-up look at Phoebe when Cassini began exploring the Saturn system in 2004. Using data from multiple spacecraft instruments and a computer model of the moon’s chemistry, geophysics and geology, scientists found Phoebe was a so-called planetesimal, or remnant planetary building block. Cassini images suggest Phoebe originated in the far-off Kuiper Belt, the region of ancient, icy, rocky bodies beyond Neptune’s orbit.