NASA Missions Provide New Insights into
'Ocean Worlds' in Our Solar System

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April 13, 2017

Two veteran NASA missions are providing new details about icy, ocean-bearing moons of Jupiter and Saturn, further heightening the scientific interest of these and other "ocean worlds" in our solar system and beyond.

 

Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

 

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 Cassini Sees 'Flying-Saucer' Moon Atlas Up Close

 

Click HereApril 13, 2017

 

This raw, unprocessed image of Saturn's moon, Atlas, were taken on April 12, 2017, by NASA's Cassini spacecraft. The flyby had a close-approach distance of about 7,000 miles (11,000 kilometers).

 

Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

 

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Hubble Spots Auroras on Uranus

 

April 10, 2017

Click HereThis is a composite image of Uranus by Voyager 2 and two different observations made by Hubble — one for the ring and one for the auroras.

Ever since Voyager 2 beamed home spectacular images of the planets in the 1980s, planet-lovers have been hooked on auroras on other planets. Auroras are caused by streams of charged particles like electrons that come from various origins such as solar winds, the planetary ionosphere, and moon volcanism. They become caught in powerful magnetic fields and are channeled into the upper atmosphere, where their interactions with gas particles, such as oxygen or nitrogen, set off spectacular bursts of light.

 

Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

 

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Pan Revealed

 

March 16, 2017

Click HereThese two images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft show how the spacecraft's perspective changed as it passed within 15,300 miles (24,600 kilometers) of Saturn's moon Pan on March 7, 2017. This was Cassini's closest-ever encounter with Pan, improving the level of detail seen on the little moon by a factor of eight over previous observations.

The views show the northern and southern hemispheres of Pan, at left and right, respectively. Both views look toward Pan's trailing side, which is the side opposite the moon's direction of motion as it orbits Saturn.

 

 

Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

 

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