Black and white image of Hyperion with data overlaying showing concentrations of hydrocarbons.

No. 10: NASA's Cassini spacecraft has revealed for the first time surface details of Saturn's moon Hyperion, including cup-like craters filled with hydrocarbons that may indicate more widespread presence in our solar system of basic chemicals necessary for life. More ›

Cassini's science team choose these stories as among the best science discoveries of 2007, the 10th year of the mission:

  1. Cracks on Enceladus Open and Close Under Saturn's Pull: Cracks in the icy surface of Saturn's moon Enceladus open and close daily under the pull of Saturn's gravity, according to new calculations by NASA-sponsored researchers. More ›

  2. Dissecting the Dirt on Titan: Planetary scientists are a step closer to understanding the composition of the dust in Titan's atmosphere. A decade-long programme of laboratory studies, aiming to reproduce Titan's unique dust, or 'aerosol' population in specially constructed reactors, has proved invaluable. More ›

  3. Cassini Spacecraft Images Seas on Saturn's Moon Titan: Instruments on NASA's Cassini spacecraft have found evidence for seas, likely filled with liquid methane or ethane, in the high northern latitudes of Saturn's moon Titan. One such feature is larger than any of the Great Lakes of North America and is about the same size as several seas on Earth. More ›

  4. Cassini Spacecraft Reveals Evidence of Tholin Formation at High Altitudes in Titan's Atmosphere: Scientists have long known that the lower atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan contains organic aerosols, or tholins, formed from simple organic molecules, such as methane and nitrogen. Researchers had assumed these tholins formed at altitudes of several hundred kilometers, but new information gathered by three particle spectrometers aboard the Cassini spacecraft shows tholin formation happens in Titan's atmosphere at altitudes greater than 1,000 kilometers. The results also show tholins form differently than previously thought. More ›

  5. Cassini Pinpoints Hot Sources of Jets on Enceladus: A recent analysis of images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft provides conclusive evidence that the jets of fine, icy particles spraying from Saturn's moon Enceladus originate from the hottest spots on the moon's "tiger stripe" fractures that straddle the moon's south polar region. More ›

  6. Cassini Images Bizarre Hexagon on Saturn: An odd, six-sided, honeycomb-shaped feature circling the entire north pole of Saturn has captured the interest of scientists with NASA's Cassini mission. NASA's Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft imaged the feature over two decades ago. The fact that it has appeared in Cassini images indicates that it is a long-lived feature. A second hexagon, significantly darker than the brighter historical feature, is also visible in the Cassini pictures. The spacecraft's visual and infrared mapping spectrometer is the first instrument to capture the entire hexagon feature in one image. More ›

  7. Cassini Finds Possible Origin of One of Saturn's Rings: Cassini scientists may have identified the source of one of Saturn's more mysterious rings. Saturn's G ring likely is produced by relatively large, icy particles that reside within a bright arc on the ring's inner edge. More ›

  8. Planetary Scientists Close in on Saturn's Elusive Rotation: Somewhere deep below Saturn's cloud tops, the planet rotates at a constant speed. Determining this interior period of rotation has proven extremely complicated. Now, with new Cassini results, a team of European scientists have taken an important step forward. More ›

  9. Images of Saturn's Small Moons Tell the Story of Their Origins: Imaging scientists on NASA's Cassini mission are telling a tale of how the small moons orbiting near the outer rings of Saturn came to be. The moons began as leftover shards from larger bodies that broke apart and filled out their "figures" with the debris that made the rings. More ›

  10. NASA Finds Hydrocarbons on Saturn's Moon Hyperion: NASA's Cassini spacecraft has revealed for the first time surface details of Saturn's moon Hyperion, including cup-like craters filled with hydrocarbons that may indicate more widespread presence in our solar system of basic chemicals necessary for life. More ›