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Saturn

  1. The Universe Liked This Super Saturn So Much It Put Literally Every Ring On It

    I'm not even sorry for using that old joke.

    planetary-ringsAstronomers at the University of Rochester have discovered a planet that puts our ringed giant to shame.

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  2. Have You Seen the Most Recent Saturn Images From Cassini Yet? Because They Are Splendid

    I can't decide between a Beyoncé joke or a Sailor Moon one right now.

    NASA's Cassini spacecraft has been zooming around taking raw images of Saturn for the past ten years. Though sometimes blurry and usually in black-and-white, these pictures are also some of the closest and most compelling images of the ringed planet that humanity has ever witnessed. Like, geez. Can you even imagine this is a real thing that actually exists in the universe? Because I cannot wrap my brain around it.

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  3. What Would Saturn Look Like If It Passed Into Earth’s Orbit? (Answer: Pretty Dang Awesome)

    "S'up, Earth? Uranus and Neptune say hello."

    Imagine that gravitational forces were completely irrelevant and Saturn just decided to pop by for a visit en route to the Sun. I don't know; maybe it wanted to go on a playdate with the Moon or something. I heard they're pretty tight. Anyway, this video is pretty mathematically accurate to what that encounter would look like.

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  4. Saturn Is Going To Look Better Than It Has In Seven Years Tonight, See It IRL Or Online

    Because why watch the night sky when you can watch it on the internet?

    Saturn's looking good and wants everyone to know about it (show off). The planet is going to be at its brightest all year tonight, so you might want to step outside and take a peek. But don't worry if you can't make it to the great outdoors - you can see her ringiness live on the internet, too (saucy).

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  5. Have All of Your Saturn Questions Answered Today on NASA’s Cassini Mission Live Google Hangout [Updated]

    Talk to NASA about space. Have all of your dreams fulfilled.

    NASA will hold a live Google Hangout today to presumably talk about how great the pictures from Cassini have been (as well as some science stuff, probably) and where it's going in the future. If you like amazing space pictures as much as we do, watch the hour-long live chat with NASA scientists at 3:30PM EST.

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  6. One Million Space Photos Animated in the Movie In Saturn’s Rings, Our Jaws Drop [Video]

    We suddenly feel very small.

    The film In Saturn's Rings takes over a million photographs from Cassini, Hubble, Voyager and more and turns them into an incredible animated ride through the universe. Sure, you've flown through pretend space plenty of times in movies, but when you watch this and realize that what you're seeing is real, it's spectacular.

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  7. Look, the Cassini Spacecraft Brought Us Another Giant Picture of Saturn!

    Wasn't that nice of it?

    Remember those pictures of Saturn's eclipse that the Cassini spacecraft took back in July of this year? They've been combining all the different images into several gorgeous mosaics that are so pristine they look computer-animated. This one, which was just released today, shows us the dark side of Saturn as it's never been seen before.

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  8. NASA’s New Picture of Saturn from the Cassini Spacecraft is Incredible

    We can't stop looking at it. Space is amazing.

    In "you won't believe it's real" news, NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day brings us an image of Saturn that looks like really convincing computer graphics. Amazingly, it's a real image of the planet brought to us by the Cassini spacecraft that is now orbiting Saturn.

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  9. Are You in NASA’s Composite of Earthlings Waving to Saturn?

    Please tell me one of these pictures is of Waldo.

    On July 19th the Cassini spacecraft pointed itself at the Earth to snap a picture, and NASA encouraged everyone to smile, wave, and snap a photo of their own. Folks submitted more than 1,400 images from around the world. To says thanks, NASA made this lovely composite from the images. Can you find yourself?

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  10. Cassini Spacecraft Snaps Beautiful Image of Saturn’s Pac-Man/Death Star Moon Mimas

    That's no moon... It's a space stati-- oh? Oh, it's actually a moon. Okay then.

    If you don't have a favorite moon of Saturn, let us make a case for Mimas. Thermal images make it look like Pac-Man, but regular pictures like this new one from NASA's Cassini spacecraft make it look like the Death Star. It shows Mimas passing by its little oblong-shaped buddy Pandora. Space is pretty.

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  11. First Image of Saturn from Cassini Probe Is Available For Viewing, You Can’t Even See Any Of Us In It

    That's OK. I'm pretty sure I was sneezing when they took this one anyway.

    Remember how we told you to all stand outside your houses and wave at the sky between 5:27 and 5:42 EDT (2:27 to 2:42 PDT) on Friday afternoon, because NASA’s Cassini probe would be snapping a picture of Saturn in which Earth would be visible? Yeah, you probably didn't have to actually do that, because all we can see are little white dots, which is how we look in the photograph above. It's still a pretty cool picture, but we can't help thinking maybe you should have waved harder. Y'know. For science.

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  12. Say Cheese! Cassini Wants to Take Your Picture From Space This Afternoon

    This may be the best chance you ever get to photobomb another planet. Y'know, in principle.

    If you love photos from space but are always secretly bummed out that you're not in them, today is your lucky day. NASA's Cassini probe is snapping a picture of Saturn today, and hundreds of millions of miles distant in the background of the resulting image, you'll be able to see the Earth. That's right -- today and today only, you have the opportunity to photobomb NASA. Make it count, people.

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  13. Look To The Skies! Watch Saturn Make A Beautifully Close Approach To Earth Tonight

    1.3 billion kilometers is a great distance, but tonight consider it relatively close. That's how far away close Saturn will be to the Earth tonight. What does that mean for you? It means that with a telescope -- even a cheap one -- you can get a beautiful view of another planet that's more than 800 million miles away. Oh, you don't have a telescope? Go buy a telescope. There's still time.

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  14. This Thunderstorm On Saturn Wrapped all The Way Around The Planet And Touched Its Own Tail

    Every once in a while, a story comes along to which the only appropriate response is "Dang." This morning brings us one such story, as images taken by NASA's Cassini probe in orbit around Saturn show it was host to a thunderstorm so massive that it wrapped around the entire planet. Like a snake attempting to eat its own tail, the atmospheric disturbance raced through Saturn's atmosphere with such speed and power that it eventually ran into its own rear end. That encounter seems to have caused it to sputter out, as if the storm somehow consumed itself, though the reasons for that are unclear to researchers.

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  15. Mirror, Mirror: Two of Saturn’s Moons Face Off Across Its Rings

    While the above picture may look like an asteroid as seen in an enormous cosmic mirror, it's not -- it's much, much cooler than that. This is the one of the latest images from NASA's Cassini probe, which shows two of Saturns "shepherd moons" -- Pandora and Prometheus, and we swear we're not making that up -- seemingly staring at one another down across the planet's rings.

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  16. Saturn Looks Downright Sexy in This New Cassini Image

    A new image taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft shows us that a little lighting goes a long way. The new picture of Saturn was taken in the planet's shadow, using the Sun as a back light for the solar system's third largest body. If NASA images were a Playboy magazine, this would be the centerfold. Turn-ons: Rings, moons, and hydrogen. Turn-offs: Short orbital periods, Pluto.

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  17. New Images Of Saturn’s Polar Vortex Are Thoroughly Ridiculous

    This is a composite images taken by NASA's Cassini probe of the enormous, swirling storm that dominates Saturn's north pole earlier this week. We've seen images of the storm, before, but never gotten this much detail on it and...man, just wow.  Keep reading for an even bigger image of the monster cyclone, which is estimated to meausure up to 4,000 kilometers across. That's about 2,500 miles, meaning that the vortex you're looking at would span the distance between New York City and Los Angeles.

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  18. Hold Everything: Saturn Has Another Pac-Man Moon

    In 2010, which is about three millennia ago on the Internet, NASA's Cassini Probe found perhaps the most important and relevant scientific discovery in the history of humanity: The heat signature of one of Saturn's moons, Mimas, looked just like Pac-Man. Today, we can all pay attention to what is clearly the most important things that will be said today, which is that another moon of Saturn, Tethys, has a similar heat signature. There's no word yet on whether this moon is a Ms. Pac-Man moon or not, but obviously we'll stay with this one all night if we have to.

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  19. Gigantic Saturn Storm Was Even Worse Than Scientists Thought, Makes Sandy Look Like a Light Drizzle

    It Came From Outer Space

    You think the East Coast has it bad with Hurricane Sandy? Scientists have determined that a massive storm that rocked the surface of Saturn two years ago—and, OK, that seems like a long time, but on a cosmic scale? Peanuts—was actually much worse than initially thought. As in, the storm raised temperatures in Saturn's stratosphere by 150° Fahrenheit.

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  20. Lake Vostok Devoid Of Microbes, Bad News For Prospect Of Life Elsewhere In Solar System

    Earlier this year, a team of Russian-led engineers and researchers drilled a hole into the Earth, breaking into Lake Vostok, a liquid water lake sealed beneath the ice of Antarctica for nearly 15 million years. They were looking for signs of life in the lake -- microbes that might offer clues to what sort of creatures we could expect to run into on icy moons elsewhere in the solar system, like Saturn's satellite Europa. This week, the first analyses of water samples from the lake are in, and they're pretty disheartening. Lake Vostok appears to be devoid of microbial life.

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