Saturday morning astronomy news roundup

The Cassini spacecraft continues to study the dickens out of Saturn and its satellites, this time snapping some lovely images of the moon, Titan. From billions of miles away, team scientists steered Cassini to within 600 miles of Titan’s surface and caught sight of waves in its seas.

Mark your calendars for May 24, because the Earth may be in for an impressive show from a never-before-seen Camelopardalid meteor shower. In fact, the shower is predicted to be so intense — with up to 200 meteors streaking across the sky per hour — that it’s being referred to as a possible “meteor storm.” The meteor shower is a result of the Earth crossing the trail of debris left by the newly-discovered Comet 209P/LINEAR. The shower should last for hours, since it will emanate from a northern part of the sky (remember, for those in the Northern Hemisphere, the North Star never sets), but the best time to view the show is between the hours of 2:00 am and 4:00 am EDT on the 24th.

NASA’s Mars rover, Curiosity, has begun to drill into Martian rock with the intention of studying a sample on its onboard lab. NASA scientists hope to uncover whether the conditions on Mars were ever appropriate to host life.

Scientists at UT-Austin (high-five!) have found one of the Sun’s long-lost brothers. Dubbed HD 162826, the star very likely formed from the same enormous gas cloud as the Sun, but somehow got separated and the siblings are now 110 light-years apart. It’s unknown whether any planets are orbiting the star, but since it appears to have no Jupiters around it, it’s unlikely that life as we know it would be on any terrestrial planets orbiting HD 162826.

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