Questions tagged [saturn]

The planet Saturn is the 6th planet of our solar system. It is a gas giant with an impressive ring system and lots of small and large moons.

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Has any mission to Titan tested the idea of producing electricity from Saturn's magnetic field?

From an answer to Astronomy SE question How does Titan maintain the atmosphere And we know the idea of generating electricity with a coil orbiting through a planet's magnetic field is sound in ...
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Can Dragonfly make it to one of Titan's Lakes?

Dragonfly is a drone set to land on Titan in the mid 2030s. As I've read, Saturn - and thus, Titan - won't be in the right orbital position at the time to allow for direct contact with the drone if it ...
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What would you see while falling into Saturn's atmosphere?

So I’ve always wondered about what would happen if you fell into Saturn, would you just fall straight through since it’s a gas giant? This is presuming we have a suit that protects us from the ...
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Why does my Saturnian System simulation “rotate” over time?

I am attempting to create a "top-down view" of the Saturnian System, using the Keplerian Elements + Rates provided here: https://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/?sat_elem#saturn To verify the validity of my ...
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Iapetus - Destabilized rings to mountains?

I was reading an article about a ring that was destabilized out of orbit on one of Saturns moons. I got there by looking for mountains because of this question (unrelated mostly). Here's a picture of ...
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How large of a mirror would be needed to warm Titan up?

How large of a mirror would be needed to warm Titan up to ~290K? Paul Birch in his paper "Terroforming Mars Quickly" calculated a mirror size of: Support Mirror: 2.5 x 10^7m radius 3x 105m wide ...
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How did scientists experimentally confirm that Saturn's ravioli-shaped moons had highly porous surfaces?

The NASA News article NASA's Cassini Finds Saturn's Rings Coat Tiny Moons says: The new research, from data gathered by six of Cassini's instruments before its mission ended in 2017, is a clear ...
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How do Saturn's rings affect the surface of the planet?

How do Saturn's rings affect the surface of the planet, and could a possible habitable exo-planet have a similar ring pattern to Saturn? Besides the probable increase of asteroids hitting the planet ...
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How would humans with appropriate equipment travel the surface of Saturn's moon Titan on foot?

Taking into account the physical characteristics of Titan (e.g. surface gravity, atmospheric pressure), what would be the most efficient method of motion for an astronaut to travel the surface of ...
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What delta-v per orbit would a spacecraft need to hover next to Saturn's rings?

In order to collect Saturn's ring particles for sample return to Earth, a spacecraft would need to share the orbit of this debris. If it is inclined it will have to pass through the rings twice each ...
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Could a human jump off Mimas without return?

A similar question has already been asked on dwarf planet Ceres: Could a Human reach escape velocity by jumping from the surface of Ceres (a dwarf planet)? Ceres has 2.9% of Earth's gravity. Saturn's ...
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Piggybacking to Enceladus

The latest NASA New Frontiers selection did not select any finalist proposals to Enceladus, which is one of the most promising targets for life in the solar system. It did however select Dragonfly, ...
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Saturn is “singing” to Enceladus? [duplicate]

This article claims Cassini, during its final few weeks around Saturn, detected plasma waves that were directed at Enceladus. How do we know these detected plasma waves were "directed" at Enceladus? ...
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What is the nature of a “flux tube” between Saturn and Enceladus, and what does “L‐shell=4” mean?

The NASA JPL YouTube video Sounds of Saturn: Hear Radio Emissions of the Planet and Its Moon Enceladus (below, also here) provides and audio and spectral representation of plasma waves recored by ...
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Why haven't Saturn's rings coalesced into moons/satellites? [closed]

The rings of Saturn are made up of tiny particles/rocks/ice that all orbit Saturn. Each individual particle is bound to its orbit because of Saturn's gravity, but each particle also pulls on all of ...
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What is the solar flux on Titan?

I' trying to solve for the surface temperature Ts=((n+1)So(1-A)4)1/4, and thus So=L/4𝞹a2 but I cannot seem to find the value for solar flux or its luminosity.
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How old is the underground lake on Enceladus?

They always talk about how there might be life on Enceladus, but how old is this lake really? I would imagine water being ejected from the moon is not a process that would last forever (because the ...
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What video or imagery was captured onboard Cassini during its descent into Saturn's atmosphere?

I'm very interested to see first person what Saturn's upper atmosphere looked like as Cassini began its descent into it. What footage exists of this, an where can it be viewed? (I'm not interested in ...
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Photographs and Videos “of” Cassini

There are many images of Cassini with Saturn in the background on the internet. How are these photos taken? Is the video of Cassini disintegrating in Saturn's Atmosphere real or made using graphics?
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Will Cassini contaminate Saturn?

Cassini is going to crash into Saturn later this month to avoid contaminating one of its moons. Why isn't anyone worried that Cassini will contaminate Saturn itself? Life might exist in Saturn's ...
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Cassini and the Huygens Probe [duplicate]

Why is Cassini self destructing in Saturn's atmosphere while the Huygens Probe was sent to land on Titan?
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Is Cassini running out of fuel?

In their (misleadingly titled) article NASA's Cassini probe dives into Saturn's atmosphere, CNN reports Once the final five orbits are complete, Cassini will plunge towards Saturn, with seven ...
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What is the evidence that the dunes of Titan are made of “water chips”?

The Southern California Public Radio news item What Cassini saw on Titan: 'Dunes of the Arabian desert' but made of water chips, not sand explains: "Little chips of water ice come off (the ...
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What observations will Cassini take during its “Grand Finale”?

Cassini's Grand Finale is underway. What special observations will be taken during this time that were not possible before the Grand Finale?
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Amount of aerobraking to minimize Delta-V

Say a spacecraft is arriving at Saturn, can aerobrake arbitrarily, and wishes to arrive at Hyperion. How much should it aerobrake (i.e. what should the SMA be after aerocapture) to minimize the Delta-...
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Delta-V between Titan and other Saturnian moons

Does anyone have a table of the delta-V between Titan escape and other moons of Saturn? If not, could someone provide figures for Hyperion, Phoebe, Iapetus, and Enceladus? Or, more simply, what is the ...
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How much methane to push Titan into Saturn?

How much methane would have to be expended (think Raptor engine) to propel Titan into Saturn? It's clearly a humongous amount.
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What are the white streaks and specks in many of the Cassini images of Saturn?

I was looking at the Cassini raw images taken from Apr. 26, 2017 4:45 AM to 9:09 AM, and I noticed that some of them show a lot of white specks. Sometimes the specks appear to be streaks. What are ...
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Why Did Apollo Smoke Twist When Taking Off?

I've been looking at some references of rockets taking off. I came across the Apollo 14 Saturn V launch and noticed that when the rocket was taking off the smoke coming from around the rocket and from ...
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How will the Cassini spacecraft help constrain the mass of Saturn's rings?

In the BBC news article To see finally the face of Peggy (Peggy is a very small moonlet interacting with a ring) there is an audio interview with Carl Murray of Queen Mary University of London. After ...
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Saturn's Pan and Prometheus orbital resonance

Is it possible for a small object (such as a manned capsule) to realize a maneuver using the orbital resonance influence of Saturn's moons Pan and Prometheus?
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Why would Cassini need to reach 64 degrees inclination before “threading the needle”?

The NY Times article Cassini’s Final Mission: Obliteration says that the Cassini spacecraft will end it's more than a decade long exploration of the Saturn system by raising the inclination of its ...
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VASIMR technology for a manned trip to Saturn [closed]

I finished reading the novel "Saturn Run" by John Sandford and Ctein. Putting aside storyline and content of the novel there was a very interesting Author's note that explains how the science portion ...
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What instruments are necessary to measure/determine the process that generates Saturn's internal heat?

I am writing a paper about a possible mission to Saturn but I am a business and Spanish student and am quite ignorant when it comes to the engineering and science behind probes and their instruments; ...
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How long will Cassini survive its dive into Saturn's atmosphere?

The Cassini spacecraft has been exploring Saturn's system since 2004 and is scheduled to be sent into Saturn's atmosphere at the end of its mission following a final encounter with Titan in 2017. ...
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What does flying in Enceladus's plume accomplish?

I've been having a hard time understanding what flying through Enceladus's plume accomplishes. Cassini is an orbiter. It seems odd that it would have instruments that could even analyze the plume at ...
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Modifications to impulse burn trajectory for low thrust propulsion

I have to design a space mission to Saturn as part of a course on spacecraft and system engineering. I found a suitable trajectory but, as the Δv is quite high, I would like to adapt it to Ion ...
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Titan trajectories options

As a little project in a course of spacecraft design, I have to plan a mission to Saturn's moon Titan. The recommended trajectory is Hohmann transfer since it's easy to calculate the delta-V and ...
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Titan - Is the source of so much Methane being overlooked?

Is the source of so much Methane on Titan being overlooked? Tons of very intelligent and knowledgeable people already looked at it, so the answer in undoubtedly "no", so I guess my question is more ...
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3-5% lightspeed?

I recently saw a documentary about Project Orion - nuclear pulse engine - that would reach a staggering 3-5% of the speed of light. How long would a ship take to get to Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn at ...
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How will Enceladus' ice-burrowing probe communicate?

I've heard a lot of people talk about sending a probe to Enceladus (one of Saturn's natural satellites). It would drill (or melt ice) to burrow through the thick layer of ice and get to the water ...
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With what forces are Saturn's Rings cohesively held together? [closed]

With what sort of gravitation are Saturn's Rings held together? It is very spectacular and intriguing compared to the way Earth's gravitation acts. I do not have a basic or conceptual idea of what/...
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Does Saturn have a solid surface?

This page argues that Saturn's density tells scientists that it has a liquid metal core with maybe some rocky chunks: The core region of Saturn may never be directly observed. Neither has the ...
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Could electrodynamic tethers power long-term unmanned satellites around the Sun, Jupiter, or Saturn?

Assuming you have the budget to research electrodynamic tether powered unmanned satellites, and you had a cheap way of getting them in to earth low earth orbit, would they be able to use electricity ...
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What is the intensity of radio noise around Jupiter and Saturn?

What is the intensity of radio noise around Jupiter or Saturn on various frequencies compared to Earth? Does it significantly affect bandwidth for communication of satellites around Jupiter/Saturn ...
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What about gathering water ice from Saturn's rings?

Saturn's rings are almost pure water ice in nice manageable chunks from specks to boulders a few meters across. Assuming there is something truly useful to do with it - once again talking about ...
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If Saturn or Jupiter were in Earth's orbit, would any of their moons be habitable for humans?

The majority of exoplanets found so far are comparable in size to Jupiter or Saturn. Which, as we know, are problematic for human habitation. But their moons have a lot of potential. Some of these ...
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Is the equatorial mountain range of Iapetus due to cold erosion?

Iapetus, satellite of Saturn, has a huge mountain range along about half its equator. On this list of our solar system's biggest mountains, it is the only entry with uncertain origin. ..The ...
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How dense are Saturn's rings?

How high is the density of asteroids in the rings of Saturn? Would it be possible for a spacecraft to fly through the thicker rings without colliding with asteroids? Would it be necessary to avoid a ...
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Can I harvest diamonds from the rain of Saturn and Jupiter?

A recent news article on BBC News indicates that 1,000 tonnes of diamonds a year are being created on Saturn This is like science fact that screams it must be Science Fiction! Assuming the ...