Merrillville Community Planetarium
Bringing the Universe to the Merrillville Schools and Northwest Indiana

Saturn

Ravioli Moon

Embedded in Saturn’s rings, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has imaged a ravioli-shaped moon called Pan. An unusual moon named after an unusual creature.

Mimas Has No Internal Ocean

Mimas is one of Saturn’s small moons. It’s known for looking like the “Death Star” of Star Wars fame.

Mimas May Have Ocean

Saturn’s closest major moon Mimas wobbles as it orbits the ringed planet. Scientists have studied many possibilities of why this could happen.

Underground Ocean on Enceladus

Enceladus is a small icy moon only 300 miles in diameter orbiting Saturn. Saturn or its moons do not lie in the habitable zone of our solar system.

Cassini Studies Magnetism

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft at Saturn is studying its magnetosphere, or the “magnetic bubble” around the planet.

Inside Titan

The Cassini spacecraft has been flying close to Saturn’s largest moon Titan to study it. Cassini took readings of Titan’s gravity to understand the moon’s interior structure better.

Saturn's Invisible Dust Ring

Using infrared radiation, the Spitzer Space Telescope has discovered a huge dust ring around Saturn. It’s the largest known ring in the solar system, but is invisible through a regular telescope.

Saturn's Hot Polar Vortexes

Saturn’s South Pole is tilted toward the sun and is very hot. The hot spot was discovered by the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii.

Sun Cups on Hyperion

Saturn’s moon Hyperion has an oblong shape and a very unusual surface that makes it look like a sea sponge in images sent back from the spacecraft Cassini. The ice-rich moon has a very low density, which means it’s light in weight. It must be half-empty, riddled with hollow pockets.

Warm Polar Vortex on Saturn

Astronomers at the W.M. Keck Observatory on Mauna Kea in Hawaii have discovered a warm polar vortex at Saturn’s South Pole. A vortex is a persistent, large-scale weather pattern. It’s the first warm polar vortex discovered in the solar system.

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