space
Cassini’s Second Grand Finale Dive Might Be Outshining the First One

Cassini’s six-month-long Grand Finale mission has become the unofficial nerd Super Bowl: each time the NASA-led spacecraft drops a new batch of raw images, we jump to our computers and frantically scroll through to find the best. (Actually, we never leave our computers, because we are nerds.) But in any case, the raw photos from Cassini’s second dive into the gap between Saturn and its rings are now available—and honestly, they might even be better than the first round. Read More >>

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This Is Our First ‘Sound’ From the Creepy Void Inside Saturn’s Rings

Today, Cassini prepares to once again boldly go where no spacecraft has gone before: into the gap between Saturn and its rings. While we’re all excited to see the the results of Cassini’s second dive, astronomers are still parsing through the findings from her first. And some, including a soundscape generated from the emptiness, are pretty freaky. Read More >>

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Saturn Looks Haunted in Cassini’s First Grand Finale Photos

Good morning, Cassini! Today, at about 8:00am BST, NASA’s Deep Space Network Goldstone Complex in California’s acquired the orbiter’s signal for the first time since it began its series of Grand Finale dives. The photos it took from the space between Saturn and its rings, which have just been released, are nothing short of breathtaking. It’s classic Cassini, making the previously impossible look easy. Read More >>

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Cassini Has Made Earth Feel Small, But Part of Something Bigger

Earth is exhausting — excruciatingly so, if you’re a young curmudgeon like me. At times, performing even the most mundane tasks, like commuting on a crowded, smelly subway car, feels like an Olympic marathon designed to test one’s patience. Space compels us because it forces us to think outside this myopic view of ourselves — not in a “Dust in the Wind” way, but in the sense that we’re tiny flecks of star stuff lucky to be members of something so vast and incredible. And in recent years, one of the greatest reminders of this is the volume of research and images sent back to Earth from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, which first entered Saturn’s system in 2004. Read More >>

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This Picture of Earth From Within Saturn’s Rings Will Make You Emotional

Sometimes, the majesty of the final frontier—a cold, unfeeling space—has the power to make our eyes misty. The images from NASA’s Cassini mission have often been able to do this, and since the spacecraft is dying soon, it makes the experience all the more emotional. Before it goes out in a blaze of glory, Cassini has been sending back some of the most incredible images of Saturn and its moons—but one of its latest from Saturn’s rings is especially spectacular. Read More >>

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Watch How a Beloved Spacecraft Will Die in Saturn’s Atmosphere

As if we already weren’t sad enough about Cassini’s imminent demise, NASA has now created a video so that we can watch what the spacecraft’s final moments will look like when it smashes into Saturn’s atmosphere on September 15th. Read More >>

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A Look Back at Cassini’s Most Mind-Blowing Pictures of Saturn Before It Dies

Alas, all good things must come to an end. Today, NASA will announce the details regarding its Cassini spacecraft’s Grand Finale—a resplendent ending to its 20-year-long adventure in space, which will begin later this month. From late April to September 15th, Cassini will perform 22 dramatic dives between Saturn and its rings. Then, the brave little orbiter will plunge itself into Saturn’s atmosphere and burn up like a meteor—all while sending information back to Earth. Read More >>

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Our Last Stunning Close-Up of Saturn’s ‘Death Star Moon’ 

Saturn’s mysterious moon Mimas is a fan favourite for obvious reasons — the heavily cratered world looks eerily similar to the Death Star from Star Wars. The moon’s iconic Herschel Crater, at roughly 81 miles across, makes it a dead ringer for George Lucas’ iconic weapon of mass destruction. Read More >>

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New Up-Close Images of Saturn’s Tiny Moon Prove It’s a Dumpling

Since it launched in 1997, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has been giving us unprecedented views of Saturn and its (many) moons. But this week, the intrepid orbiter outdid itself by capturing some adorable images of Saturn’s tiny moon, Pan. In Greek mythology, Pan was the god of shepherds, which is appropriate considering the clingy world acts as a “shepherd moon” of Saturn, clearing out the 200 mile-wide Encke Gap within the gas giant’s A Ring. Read More >>

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These Ultra Close-Up Images of Saturn’s Rings Are Mind-Blowing

Though NASA’s Cassini spacecraft is sadly nearing the end of its mission, the brave li'l orbiter is putting on quite the grand finale. Cassini, which is currently in its ring-grazing phase around Saturn, has just sent back some stunning images of the gas giant’s many rings. Read More >>

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Cassini Just Gave us A Rare Look at Saturn’s ‘Wavemaker’ Moon

Saturn’s tiny moon friend, Daphnis, is finally getting its close-up. In a stunning new image from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, the elusive moon can be seen peeking out from within the Keeler gap of Saturn’s rings. According to NASA, the image was taken in visible (green) light by Cassini’s narrow-angle camera. Read More >>

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This Is Our Best Look Yet At Saturn’s Moon Pandora

Pandora is one of Saturn’s many baby moons, far too runty to form a sphere under its own gravity. Instead, this 52-mile across space rock looks more like a fossilised glob of putty in closest image ever captured by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. Read More >>

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Our Next Trip to Saturn Will Be to Search For Alien Life

As the Cassini spacecraft executes its final daredevil manoeuvres, scientists on both sides of the Atlantic are already thinking about the next mission to Saturn. But this time around, nobody’s talking about studying the gas giant itself. They’re talking about hunting for life in Saturn’s rings. Read More >>

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These Are the First Glorious Images From Cassini’s Ring-Grazing Orbits

Last week, the Cassini spacecraft began a series of dramatic, “ring-grazing orbits” that will see it fly high over Saturn’s poles before diving perilously close to the gas giant’s rings. Now, NASA has received back the first images from this exciting chapter in Cassini’s last year of life—and they do not disappoint. Read More >>

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Watching the Clouds Move on Titan Is Freaky as Hell

Watching clouds float by is usually a serene, relaxing experience. Watching methane clouds float by on Saturn’s moon Titan, however, is not. Read More >>