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Saturn - Exploring the Mystery of the Ringed Planet

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Saturn - Exploring the Mystery of the Ringed Planet

Nicole Mortillaro

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Overview

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Saturn is one of the five planets that star watchers can see with the naked eye. In 1997 the satellite Cassini-Huygens was launched with the sole purpose of studying Saturn and its moons and rings. Cassini is still in orbit, and in 2009 it witnessed Saturn’s equinox firsthand, providing an entirely new perspective of the planet and a basis for amazing discoveries. Cassini has generated enormous scientific interest with its accomplishments so far, including: – Landing on Saturn’s moon Titan – scientists now believe Titan possesses many parallels to Earth, including lakes, rivers, channels, dunes, rain, snow, clouds, mountains and possibly volcanoes. – Recording images of a storm raging across Saturn that has lightning 10,000 times more powerful than any lightning on Earth. – Discovering there may be as many as 10 million tiny moonlets in Saturn’s rings. – Finding that a newly discovered moon embedded in the planet’s G ring may actually be responsible for that ring; before this discovery, scientists believed it was the only ring without an associated moon. Featuring extraordinary photos selected from NASA resources on almost every page, Saturn examines the planet and its place in our universe with a special emphasis on the most recent discoveries of the Cassini probe. These are the closest and most detailed views of Saturn ever.

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