Experiment Shows Microbes Could Thrive on Saturn’s Moon Enceladus

Enceladus is one of the most fascinating objects in the Solar System. Parked in orbit around Saturn, the ice-covered moon features a warm subterranean ocean and the basic chemical ingredients for life. But could alien microbes actually survive there? A new experiment suggests the answer is yes. Read More >>

This Is the Spot Where the Cassini Spacecraft Plunged Into Saturn

On September 15, 2017, the Cassini spacecraft ended its valiant 13-year mission by performing a kamikaze dive into Saturn’s upper atmosphere. A new image released by NASA shows the exact spot where the Cassini craft was lost to us forever. Read More >>

Saturn’s Fascinating Moon Titan Has Yet Another Thing In Common With Earth

Titan—Saturn’s largest moon—is remarkable in that it features a dense atmosphere and stable liquid at the surface. The only other place in the solar system with these particular characteristics is, you guessed it, Earth. Thanks to a pair of new studies, we can add a third trait to this list of shared characteristics: a global sea level. Read More >>

Cassini Swan Song Image of Saturn Left Me Speechless

Planets and robots lack hearts and minds, but they’re especially good at impacting ours. In its last days before ending itself, human-built Cassini turned around and snapped this farewell mosaic image of Saturn. Its title: “Farewell to Saturn.” Read More >>

Cassini Dropped Its Most Mind-Blowing Look At Saturn’s Rings Yet

Though Cassini only has a few days left to study Saturn before it dies, it’s seriously making them count. Today, NASA released what it says are “the highest-resolution colour images of any part of Saturn’s rings.” In true Cassini fashion, they’re absolutely mesmerising. Read More >>

Cassini’s ‘Inside Out’ Movie From Within Saturn’s Rings Will Make You Emotional

On September 15th, Cassini’s 20-year-long exploration of the Saturnian system will finally—regrettably—come to an end. But even in its final act, the spacecraft has been sending back some of the most detailed images it’s ever taken. In one of its recent dives into the gap between Saturn and its rings, the spacecraft took a sequence of photos that offer an striking and unusual view of Saturn’s main rings—and now it’s a mini-movie. Read More >>

Saturn’s Moon Titan May Have the Perfect Landing Spot For Spacecraft

Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, is a giant nightmare beach. While its electrically charged sand wouldn’t make for a relaxing holiday, new research suggests the planet might not be as hostile to robotic visitors as we think. Although its lakes are full of ultra-cold liquid methane and ethane, they could be placid enough for future space probe to land on. Still not great for swimming, though. Read More >>

Saturn’s Moon Enceladus Has Toxic Booze on its Breath

You think you have it rough because you spent the weekend eating tequila-soaked watermelon? That’s Juicy Juice compared to what Saturn’s moon Enceladus has been steeping itself in. Astronomers have spotted the organic molecule methanol surrounding the icy moon. Methanol, in case you forgot, is a highly toxic form of alcohol that can literally leave you blind—but after millions of years, we’d wager Enceladus’ tolerance is pretty high. Read More >>

Saturn’s Hexagonal Storm Is Pure Chaotic Beauty In New Cassini Images

Cassini’s last hurrah has been so bittersweet: On the one hand, it marks the end of a 20-year-long journey to explore Saturn and its moons. But the Grand Finale has also featured some of the most spectacular shots of the gas giant and its moons ever taken. It’s a complex cocktail of emotions. Read More >>

A Wild Origin Story For Saturn’s Most Mysterious Moon

Enceladus is having a moment: ever since NASA announced it had all the basic ingredients to support life, people have become interested in the unusual Saturnian moon. In addition to hiding a warm subterranean ocean beneath its crust, Enceladus produces enough energy from its hydrothermal vents that could hypothetically support alien microbes. To add another layer of weirdness to this strange world, new research suggests Enceladus may have tipped over long ago. Read More >>

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

Why Is Saturn Making So Much Pasta?

Saturn is having a moment. Yesterday, NASA announced that one of its moons, Enceladus, has the key ingredients to support microbial life. Around the same time, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft dropped some jaw-dropping images of another one of Saturn’s quirky moons, and while this one may not have a subterranean ocean, it sure is an adorable little pasta. Read More >>