moons

Watch Two Dark Moons Sneak Into Cassini’s Shots

by Jason Major March 14, 2014

Want to stay on top of all the space news? Follow @universetoday on Twitter On March 11, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft was acquiring some images of Saturn’s back-lit limb when two of its moons decided to make an entrance. Like stage hands in a darkened theatre the moons quickly passed  across the scene, moving between Saturn […]

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A Distant View of Janus, One of Saturn’s ‘Dancing Moons’

by Jason Major January 12, 2014

One of 62 moons discovered thus far orbiting giant Saturn, Janus is a 111-mile (179-km) -wide pockmarked potato composed of rock and ice rubble. The image above shows Janus as seen with Cassini’s narrow-angle camera on September 10, 2013, from a distance of 621,000 miles (1 million km), floating against the blackness of space. Despite its […]

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An Occult Occurrence: Saturn’s Moon Iapetus Blocks a Background Star

by Jason Major August 14, 2013

It’s a cosmic cover-up! No, don’t put your tinfoil* hats on, this isn’t a conspiracy — it’s just Saturn’s moon Iapetus drifting in front of the bright star Gamma Orionis (aka Bellatrix) captured on Cassini’s narrow-angle camera on August 10, 2013. Such an event is called an occultation, a term used in astronomy whenever light […]

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Waltz Around Saturn With This Beautiful Animation

by Jason Major July 19, 2013

In honor of this today’s Wave at Saturn and The Day the Earth Smiled events, celebrating images to be taken of Earth from Saturn, here’s a wonderful movie showing highlights from Cassini’s exploration of the giant planet, its magnificent rings, and fascinating family of moons. Assembled by Fabio Di Donato in memory of astrophysicist, author and activist […]

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Pluto May Soon Have a Moon Named Vulcan (Thanks to William Shatner)

by Jason Major February 25, 2013

The votes have been tallied and the results are in from the SETI Institute’s Pluto Rocks Poll: “Vulcan” and “Cerberus” have come out on top for names for Pluto’s most recently-discovered moons, P4 and P5. After 450,324 votes cast over the past two weeks, Vulcan is the clear winner with a landslide 174,062 votes… due […]

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