xoxoxoBruce Wednesday Jun 7 11:27 PM
June 8th, 2017: Cassini
If our Moon inspire lovers and results in more babies then Saturn must be crawling with Saturian babies.
This September, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft will take its final measurements and images as it plunges into Saturn’s atmosphere at 77,000 miles per hour, burning up high above the cloud tops. Launched in 1997, Cassini traveled 2.2 billion miles in seven years to reach Saturn and enter orbit. Over the past 13 years, Cassini’s instruments have returned countless priceless scientific observations and hundreds of thousands of images of the Saturnian system—its atmosphere, its 60+ moons, its vast rings, and much more. Gathered here are 40 of the most amazing images sent to us from Cassini, as we prepare for this epic mission to come to an end in just a few months.
More moons than you can shake a stick at.
Griff Thursday Jun 8 07:30 AM
glatt Thursday Jun 8 08:23 AM
Awesome! I hadn't seen many of these pictures before.
How cool is it that we have close ups of these heavenly bodies that are so far away and that we'll never reach in person?
MtnDsrt Thursday Jun 8 09:54 AM
Thank you, Bruce, for posting this and supplying the link. I think this entire Cassini adventure is very exciting. That first image has me confused. A matter of perspective I am sure, but it looks like Saturn's rings are behind it, not around it. Or is that dominant circle not the planet but ... the lens?
HitTheLake Thursday Jun 8 10:16 AM
I went looking for an explanation because I wondered the same thing. I think that they just "highlighted" the planet for us (kind of poorly I think - they should have done it only from the perspective of the angle) because it wasn't as reflective as the rings and would be hard to see in "true color".
But I found an interesting video about that shot.
YouTube explanation video
My original post didn't work right - still things to learn about this forum I guess. I'm on a roll today, second attempt. heh
xoxoxoBruce Thursday Jun 8 10:28 AM
It looked to me like the first image was looking up(up in the image, no up in space) at the planet with the rings on the near side crossing near the top.
I'll have to check out the video.
glatt Thursday Jun 8 10:37 AM
According to the link, Saturn's rings are typically only 30 feet thick. I find that incredible, that on an astronomical scale something as small as 30 feet thick can be seen so easily at such a distance.
At the edge of one of the rings, there are these structures that tower about 1.5 miles above the plane of the ring, casting long shadows on it.
This is so otherworldly.
xoxoxoBruce Thursday Jun 8 10:56 AM
The third picture at the link says...
What? You can see Pan, only 17 miles in across, looking through the ring, from 1.2 million miles away? That shit just blows my mind. I can't get my head around that concept. It's like taking one frame out of a Micheal Bay film.
At first glance, Saturn's rings appear to be intersecting themselves in an impossible way. In actuality, this view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft shows the rings in front of the planet, upon which the shadow of the rings is cast. And because rings like the A ring and Cassini Division, which appear in the foreground, are not entirely opaque, the disk of Saturn and those ring shadows can be seen directly through the rings themselves. The tiny moon Pan (17 miles or 28 kilometers across) can be seen here near image center. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on February 11, 2016, at a distance of approximately 1.2 million miles (1.9 million kilometers) from Pan.
Diaphone Jim Thursday Jun 8 12:53 PM
The Cassini mission may be the most elaborate, successful and eye-popping scientific experiment in human history.
It has been a joy to watch.
I wish there had been a way to accomplish it without its 72 pounds of plutonium, endangering life on Earth (we dodged that bullet) and now possibly being a threat to the planet is was designed to observe.
xoxoxoBruce Thursday Jun 8 04:30 PM
We are humans, for six thousand or a couple hundred thousand(depending on your beliefs) years, we've been littering wherever we go. New frontiers, new trash.
Gravdigr Thursday Jun 8 04:42 PM
It's a good thing there's no one there to get pissed off about all that Pu getting scattered around the jawn.
And now that the Pu is scattered, there won't be anyone there to get pissed off about it for another couple hundred thousand years, or so.
SPUCK Monday Jun 12 07:40 AM
Dione<=Clearly EQUALS=>Andromeda Strain
We're sooo phucked!
SPUCK Monday Jun 12 07:51 AM
Oh, and why the first picture looks so lame is because the shots are taken from the dark side of Saturn from within the shadow it casts behind it.
The lens looking aspect is the light from the sun lit side being bent around behind the plant by total internal reflection caused by the planet's atmosphere.
Because the planet is a gas giant none of the atmosphere has much distinction and because it's the dark side it's just a big grayish....slide projector screen that the rings (that are not in shadow) can 'project' their reflected light down onto.
Because the projected ring image is projecting down from a different angle than the photos are taken from they don't seem to match up with actual rings and indeed the projected image does not.
Your reply here?
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