NASA

The storm at Saturn's north pole (Photo NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)

NASA started publishing the first photos taken by the Cassini space probe after its descent into the gap between the planet Saturn and its rings. These are the closest photos taken during a risky maneuver for Cassini, performed only because within a few months it will end its mission so it was decided that it’s worth taking risks to collect close-range data.

The Cygnus cargo spacecraft blasting off atop an Atlas V rocket in its Orb-7 mission (Image NASA TV)

A little while ago Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft blasted off atop an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral. After about 21 minutes it successfully separated from the rocket’s last stage went en route to its destination. This is its seventh official mission, called Orbital-7 or simply Orb-7 but also CRS OA-7, to transport supplies to the International Space Station for NASA.

Plumes on Europa (Image NASA, ESA, W. Sparks (STScI), and the USGS Astrogeology Science Center)

Yesterday, NASA held a press conference to explain the latest news about the studies of alien oceans. The attention was focused on the two most popular underground oceans, the one in Jupiter’s satellite Europa and the one in Saturn’s satellite Enceladus. There are confirmations of plumes from Europa, also described in an article published in “The Astrophysical Journal Letters”. The presence of molecular hydrogen in the Enceladus ocean was announced, also described in an article published in the journal “Science”.