Saturn

  • Reset your interplanetary watches because data from NASA's Cassini probe has finally answered the question of how long a day on Saturn is. Using the planet's giant rings as a natural seismograph, a team of scientist calculated that Saturn rotates once every 10 hours, 33 minutes and 38 seconds.
  • Saturn's rings may not only vanish in 100 million years, but they may have only been around for as little as 10 million years. Using data gathered in the last days of NASA's Cassini mission, a team has concluded that the rings may have been created sometime between 10 and 100 million years ago.
  • Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, is a surprisingly dynamic world. Summer was due to hit its northern hemisphere in 2016, but strangely it didn’t seem to arrive as expected. Now, astronomers have analyzed Cassini images and found evidence of rainfall, indicating that finally, summer is coming.
  • The Sun is setting on 2018, and with so many eyes on (and in) the skies it’s been a stellar year for space photography. From mesmerizing nebulae to historic firsts to stunning views of Earth and other planets, New Atlas rounds up some of the best space photos of the year.
  • A new NASA study has revealed Saturn rings are shedding their material much faster than we realized, so much so its existence could one day come to resemble a tiny blip in the timeline of its entire life. ​​
  • The Cassini mission continues to pay dividends long after its demise as data gathered during its flybys of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, between 2004 and 2017 indicate that the satellite has dust storms made of complex organic molecules.
  • NASA's Cassini probe burned up in Saturn's atmosphere about a year ago, but a newly-released image shows that its last days were anything but idle. Four days before its fiery end, Cassini's a mosaic view of the Saturnian largest moon Titan's north polar lakes filled with liquid methane and ethane.
  • The Hubble Space Telescope has captured fresh images of Saturn and Mars as they approach opposition – the point in their orbit when the planets are at their closest to Earth, and fully illuminated by the light of our star.
  • Saturn’s moon Titan is one of the most interesting bodies in the solar system – but at a glance it looks like a dull yellow ball, thanks to a soupy atmosphere. Now, using 13 years’ worth of infrared data from Cassini, astronomers have stitched together the clearest images yet of Titan’s surface.
  • It's all a matter of perspective. The latest snap shared by scientists from NASA's Cassini's mission won't not reach the iconic status of Voyager 1's legendary Pale Blue Dot image, but does show a corner of our Solar System in a fascinating new light.
  • Saturn’s moon Enceladus is one of the most promising places to look for life. In a new study, scientists subjected earthly bacteria to the kind of conditions found on Enceladus. They were able to survive and reproduce, adding weight to the idea that the icy moon might just be able to support life.
  • NASA has released a somber view of Saturn, created from some of the final images captured by the Cassini spacecraft. An annotated version of the image highlights the region of Saturn’s cloud surface in which Cassini ended its epic mission by diving into the atmosphere of the gas giant.