30 Jul 2012
A giant landslide on Iapetus stretches halfway across a 75-mile (120 km) crater. CREDIT: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Scientists are hoping that long landslides visible on Saturn's moon Iapetus may provide clues to understand similar movements here on Earth, in particular how earthquake fault lines often slip farther than expected.  Scientists have concluded that flash heating could cause the falling ice to move 10 to 15 times farther than expected.

23 Jul 2012
NASA's Cassini radar images show river networks draining into lakes in Titan's northern polar region. CREDIT: NASA/JPL/USGS

The thick and hazy atmosphere of Titan, Saturn's largest moon, may hide a geological past similar to erosion seen on Earth according to a new study. 

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville studied images of Titan taken from the Cassini spacecraft and have investigated the erosion of its terrain over millions of years by rivers of liquid methane.

27 Mar 2012

Surface of Saturns moon Enceladus.  The south polar terrain has blue fractures and many folds and ridges.  This view taken from many false-color frames on the Cassini spacecraft.  (Credit:  NASA/JPL)

NASA's Cassini spacecraft is about to make its lowest pass over the south polar region of Saturn's moon Enceladus, entering an area where icy particles and water vapor spray out from its surface.  At the closest approach at 11:30 a.m. PDT (2:30 p.m. EDT) March 27, it will be about 46 miles (74 kilometers) in altitude.

Cassini will attempt to sample particles from the jets using its ion and neutral mass spectrometer.  Scientists will use these tools to analyze the data to learn more about the composition, density and variability of the plume.  NASA was able to revive the Cassini plasma spectrometer, now they can analyze Saturn's magnetic and plasma environment near Enceladus and sample the plume material as well.  The team will use the composite infrared spectrometer to look for hot spots on Enceladus and the cameras will take pictures. 

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