This year's notorious polar vortex caused plenty of cold, pain, and suffering for folks across the continent (and allowed Northerners the opportunity to chuckle at the 2-inch snowpocalypse that brought Atlanta to its knees), but that's small snowflakes compared with the rest of our solar system, Saturn in particular.NASA released the above image of Saturn's remarkable hexagonal polar jet stream on Monday, although it was taken by the Cassini spacecraft from its position 1.6 million miles above the ringed planet in November of last year.… Read more
Dreaming of an exotic vacation destination? How about relaxing on the shores of Kraken Mare, a hydrocarbon sea on Titan?
It's a tad chilly at minus 290 degree Fahrenheit, but that's a small discomfort compared with the wow factor of being at the only spot in our solar system -- outside Earth -- with stable surface liquid.
Thanks to the adventurous Cassini space probe, you can get an overview of this lovely land of lakes and seas in a dramatic NASA video of Saturn's biggest moon. The data form the most detailed view of the planet to date. … Read more
A bizarre, funnel-shaped cloud formation churning around Saturn's north pole was first noticed in the 1980s in Voyager flybys. Eventually, this mass became known as "the hexagon."
Any images of this cloudy mass have been muted and blurry at best -- until now. NASA's Cassini spacecraft has captured new images of the hexagon that show it off in all of its unearthly glory.
The hexagon is a unique six-sided jet stream with a roiling rotating storm at its center. It spans roughly 20,000 miles and whips up 200 mph winds. According to NASA, no other … Read more
Looking for a new desktop pic? Look no further.
Ready for some -- literally -- out of this world plastic? A chemical commonly used to make everything from food-storage containers to car bumpers has been detected on one of Saturn's moons.
NASA revealed Monday that the Cassini spacecraft detected propylene, a chemical ingredient of plastic, on Saturn's moon Titan. This is the first definitive detection of the chemical on any planet or moon, other than Earth, NASA said.… Read more
If you stepped outside and snapped a photo of yourself waving to space on July 19, you might be famous. NASA on Wednesday released a collage of photos of people around the world who greeted the Cassini spacecraft.
NASA encouraged people to submit photos of themselves waving at the spacecraft from Earth on the same day Cassini took dramatic photos of Earth through Saturn's rings. The space agency has compiled those photos in a collage the depicts the planet from space.
"While Earth is too small in the images Cassini obtained to distinguish any individual human beings, the … Read more
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The Incredible Hulk (aka Lou Ferrigno) wants your best computer destruction video -- and you could win some cash for it. A man builds a quadcopter out of a dead ostrich...um, gross! And the inventors of the Firefly Guitar Pick swing by the CNET studios to give us a live demo of the first smart guitar pick. All that and more on this week's Crave podcast. … Read more
Thanks to my 5-year-old daughter (and, strangely enough, to "Game of Thrones"), I'm getting reacquainted with a place that seemed like magic when I first learned of it as a child myself -- Saturn's largest moon, the fascinating Earth-like satellite Titan.
Turns out that in the intervening two decades or so, scientists have learned quite a bit about this fascinating world covered with a fully developed atmosphere shielding a sheen of methane lakes on the surface below. Unlike the dead, dry rocks that pass for most other moons, Titan also hosts thunderstorms, running rivers, and perhaps … Read more