A moon of Saturn may have 'tropical' lakes
This color-enhanced composite image shows Titan's atmosphere encircling the orange moon.
June 13th, 2012
03:52 PM ET

A moon of Saturn may have 'tropical' lakes

They might not be fit for humans to swim in, but "tropical" lakes may exist on one of Saturn's moons that could harbor tiny organisms.

Scientists report Wednesday in the journal Nature that the moon Titan may have methane lakes among the dunes that pervade the tropics, the region of the moon between 20 degrees of latitude north and 20 degrees of latitude south.

Like Earth, Titan has clouds, rain and lakes, though they're made up of methane instead of water.

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Filed under: Discoveries • In Space
June 13th, 2012
10:34 AM ET

Telescope launches to explore black holes

A powerful telescope array is headed for space today. Its starting point wasn't a Cape Canaveral launch pad, but rather a plane that took off from Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands in the central Pacific Ocean.

NuSTAR began its launch process today just after 12 p.m. EST. NuSTAR stands for Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array.

NuSTAR, with its specialized "X-ray eyes," has 10 times the resolution and 100 times the sensitivity of similar telescopes. It has the capability to study black holes and explore how exploding stars form the elements from which the universe is composed.

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Filed under: Hardware in Orbit • In Space

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