Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Science Blog: Saturn Moons: Death Star, Ravioli, Frozen Moon - and the Gods They're Named For

Cassini spacecraft's image of Saturn's moon, Pan, were taken on March 7. Cr: NASA
Today's Science Blog gives you a close-up look at three of Saturn's moons. We've recently been able to get these close-ups
thanks to NASA's Cassini spacecraft. Moons are typically rounded and cratered, and some of them have frozen surfaces, geysers and even atmospheres. But 2 of Saturn's moons resemble things we know of on Earth, the "Death Star" from Star Wars movies, and an Italian pasta called ravioli. Another was found to be frozen with an ocean underneath. Just look at the images!

THE RAVIOLI MOON - This tiny moon is actually called "Pan" after the Greek god.
The moon has an average radius of just 8.8 miles. According to NASA, Pan's strange shape comes from what is called an
The Greek God, Pan
equatorial ridge. Pan shares that characteristic with Atlas, one of its sister moons. "The ridge has formed over the course of Pan's history because it orbits Saturn inside the planet's rings, collecting stray particles as it goes," said Preston Dyches, a spokesman for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Pan is Saturn's closest moon, and orbits the planet in just 13.8 hours.
WHO IS PAN? - In Greek religion and mythology, Pan is the god of the wild, shepherds and flocks, nature of mountain wilds and rustic music, and companion of the nymphs.

The Death Star Moon
THE DEATH STAR MOON -  Tethys is another Saturn moon that has a striking resemblance to the Death Star from "Star Wars."

WHO IS TETHYS? - In Greek mythology, Tethys was a Titan daughter of Uranus and Gaia. She was the Titan goddess of the primal font of fresh water which nourishes the earth. She was the wife of Okeanos (Oceanus), the earth-encircling, fresh-water stream, and the mother of the Potamoi (Rivers), the Okeanides (Oceanids) (nymphs of springs, streams and fountains), and the Nephelai (Clouds).

Enceladus being buried
THE FROZEN MOON - Cassini spacecraft found that Enceladus harbors a global ocean of salty water under its icy crust, possibly with hydrothermal vents on its seafloor. Images from the spacecraft show sprays of water ice and vapor into space.  Enceladus is the sixth-largest moon of Saturn. It is about 500 kilometers in diameter, about a tenth of that of Saturn's largest moon, Titan.

Enceladus was one of the Gigantes, the Giants, in Greek mythology, son of Gaea and Uranus. All the Giants were born when Cronus, son of Uranus, castrated his father and the blood fell onto the earth (Gaea).
During the Gigantomachy, the great battle between the Giants and the Olympian gods, Enceladus was the primary adversary of goddess Athena, who threw the island of Sicily against the fleeing Giant and buried him under it.

A dramatic plume sprays water ice and vapor from the south polar region of Saturn's moon Enceladus. Cassini's first hint of this plume came during the spacecraft's first close flyby of the icy moon on February 17, 2005.
Credits: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next