Tag Archives: planetary system

Cassini Sees Saturn and Moons in Holiday Dress

This holiday season, feast your eyes on images of Saturn and two of its most fascinating moons, Titan and Enceladus, in a care package from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. All three bodies are dressed and dazzling in this special package assembled by Cassini’s imaging team.

The new images are available online at: https://www.nasa.gov/cassini , https://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov and https://ciclops.org .

“During this, our tenth holiday season at Saturn, we hope that these images from Cassini remind everyone the world over of the significance of our discoveries in exploring such a remote and beautiful planetary system,” said Carolyn Porco, Cassini imaging team leader, based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo. “Happy holidays from all of us on Cassini.” (more…)

Read More

Why Some Planets Orbit the Wrong Way; Extrasolar Insights into Our Solar System

More than 500 extrasolar planets–planets that orbit stars other than the sun–have been discovered since 1995. But only in the last few years have astronomers observed that in some of these systems, the star is spinning one way and the planet is orbiting that star in the opposite direction.

“That’s really weird, and it’s even weirder because the planet is so close to the star,” said Frederic A. Rasio, a theoretical astrophysicist at Northwestern University. “How can one be spinning one way and the other orbiting exactly the other way? It’s crazy. It so obviously violates our most basic picture of planet and star formation.” (more…)

Read More