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Stirred-up Saturn June 30, 2006

Posted by John Tintle (MtO deadbait) in Cassini, JPL, NASA, Planets, Satellite, Saturn, Space Agencies, Space Fotos, Space Science Institute.
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Stirred-up Saturn

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Description:

A great vortex rolls through high southern latitudes on Saturn, whirling twisted contours into the clouds. The ringed planet’s uppermost clouds are thought to be composed largely of ammonia ice overlying deeper layers of ammonium hydrosulfide and water clouds.

The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on May 13, 2006 at a distance of approximately 2.8 million kilometers (1.8 million miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 143 degrees. The image was obtained using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 938 nanometers. Image scale is 17 kilometers (10 miles) per pixel.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/home/index.cfm. The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org.

The Moving Moons of Saturn June 26, 2006

Posted by John Tintle (MtO deadbait) in APoD, Cassini, Enceladus, European Space Agency, JPL, Mimas, NASA, Planets, Rhea, Satellite, Saturn, Space Agencies, Space Fotos, Space Science Institute, SSI, Website.
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See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download  the highest resolution version available.
Credit:

Cassini Imaging Team, SSI, JPL, ESA, NASA

Explanation:

The moons of Saturn never stop. A space traveler orbiting the ringed giant planet would witness a continuing silent dance where Saturn’s multiple moons pass near each other in numerous combinations. Like a miniature Solar System, the innermost moons orbit Saturn the fastest. The above movie was centered on Saturn’s moon Rhea, so that the moons Mimas and Enceladus appear to glide by. At 1,500 kilometers across, Rhea is over three times larger than the comparably sized Mimas and Enceladus. The Sun illuminates the scene from the lower right, giving all of the moons the same crescent phase. The above time lapse movie was created by the Saturn-orbiting robotic Cassini spacecraft over a period of about 40 minutes.

Mars at Ls 66°: Acidalia/Mare Erythraeum June 15, 2006

Posted by John Tintle (MtO deadbait) in JPL, Mars, Mars Global Surveyor, NASA, Planets, Space Agencies, Space Fotos, Space Science Institute, Spacecraft.
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This MOC image shows the Acidalia/Mare Erythraeum face of Mars at Ls 66° in mid-June 2006

Credit:

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Description:

 This picture is a composite of Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) daily global images acquired at Ls 66° during a previous Mars year. This month, Mars looks similar, as Ls 66° occurs in mid-June 2006. The picture shows the Acidalia/Mare Erythraeum face of Mars. Over the course of the month, additional faces of Mars as it appears at this time of year are being posted for MOC Picture of the Day. Ls, solar longitude, is a measure of the time of year on Mars. Mars travels 360° around the Sun in 1 Mars year. The year begins at Ls 0°, the start of northern spring and southern autumn.

Season: Northern Spring/Southern Autumn

Saturn Aslant June 15, 2006

Posted by John Tintle (MtO deadbait) in Cassini, JPL, NASA, Planets, Satellite, Saturn, Space Agencies, Space Fotos, Space Science Institute.
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Saturn Aslant

Credit:

NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute 

Description:

This oblique view of Saturn shows what may be localized upwellings in the clouds of Saturn's southern hemisphere. Although the contrast is low, a vortex is visible near lower right.

This view looks toward the unlit side of the rings.

The image was taken using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 938 nanometers. The image was obtained using the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on May 8, 2006 at a distance of approximately 2.8 million kilometers (1.8 million miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 152 degrees. Image scale is 17 kilometers (10 miles) per pixel.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/home/index.cfm. The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org.

A Sight to Behold June 11, 2006

Posted by John Tintle (MtO deadbait) in Cassini, JPL, NASA, Planets, Satellite, Saturn, Space Agencies, Space Fotos, Space Science Institute, SSI, Titan.
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This view was taken from above the ringplane and looks toward the unlit side of the rings. Here, the probe gazes upon Titan in the distance beyond Saturn and its dark and graceful rings

Credit:

NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Description:

Cassini's "eyes" — its powerful imaging cameras — bear witness to the majestic and spectacular sights of the Saturn system, as this views attests. Here, the probe gazes upon Titan (5,150 kilometers, or 3,200 miles across) in the distance beyond Saturn and its dark and graceful rings.

This view was taken from above the ringplane and looks toward the unlit side of the rings.

The image was taken using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 938 nanometers. The image was obtained using the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on May 10, 2006 at a distance of approximately 2.9 million kilometers (1.8 million miles) from Saturn and 4.1 million kilometers (2.6 million miles) from Titan. The image was taken at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 149 degrees. Image scale is 17 kilometers (11 miles) per pixel on Saturn.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

So Close… June 5, 2006

Posted by John Tintle (MtO deadbait) in Cassini, Janus, JPL, NASA, Planets, Prometheus, Satellite, Saturn, Space Agencies, Space Fotos, Space Science Institute.
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Saturn's moons Janus and Prometheus look close enough to touch in this  stunningly detailed view

Credit:

NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Description:

Saturn's moons Janus and Prometheus look close enough to touch in this stunningly detailed view.

From just beneath the ringplane, Cassini stares at Janus (181 kilometers, or 113 miles across) on the near side of the rings and Prometheus (102 kilometers, or 63 miles across) on the far side. The image shows that Prometheus is more elongated than Janus.

The view takes in the Cassini Division (4,800 kilometers, or 2,980 miles wide), from its outer edge to about halfway across its width.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on April 29, 2006 at a distance of approximately 218,000 kilometers (135,000 miles) from Janus and 379,000 kilometers (236,000 miles) from Prometheus. Image scale is about 1 kilometer (0.6 mile) per pixel on Janus and 2 kilometers (1 mile) per pixel on Prometheus.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

Fade to Red June 5, 2006

Posted by John Tintle (MtO deadbait) in Spitzer Space Telescope (SST), Andromeda Galaxy (M31), Deep Space, JPL, NASA, Satellite, Space Agencies, Space Fotos, Space Science Institute.
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Fade to Red

Credit:

NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Description:

This animation shows the Andromeda galaxy, first as seen in visible light by the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, then as seen in infrared by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

The visible-light image highlights the galaxy's population of about one trillion stars. The stars are so crammed into its core that this region blazes with bright starlight.

In contrast, the false-colored Spitzer view reveals red waves of dust against a more tranquil sea of blue stars. The dust lanes can be seen twirling all the way into the galaxy's center. This dust is warmed by young stars and shines at infrared wavelengths , which are represented in red. The blue color signifies shorter-wavelength infrared light primarily from older stars.

The Andromeda galaxy, also known affectionately by astronomers as Messier 31, is located 2.5 million light-years away in the constellation Andromeda. It is the closest major galaxy to the Milky Way, making it the ideal specimen for carefully examining the nature of galaxies. On a clear, dark night, the galaxy can be spotted with the naked eye as a fuzzy blob.

Andromeda's entire disk spans about 260,000 light-years, which means that a light beam would take 260,000 years to travel from one end of the galaxy to the other. By comparison, the Milky Way is about 100,000 light-years across. When viewed from Earth, Andromeda occupies a portion of the sky equivalent to seven full moons.

Because this galaxy is so large, the infrared images had to be stitched together out of about 3,000 separate Spitzer exposures. The light detected by Spitzer's infrared array camera at 3.6 and 4.5 microns is sensitive mostly to starlight and is shown in blue and green, respectively. The 8-micron light shows warm dust and is shown in red. The contribution from starlight has been subtracted from the 8-micron image to better highlight the dust structures.

Sun Through the Shadows June 1, 2006

Posted by John Tintle (MtO deadbait) in Cassini, JPL, NASA, Planets, Satellite, Saturn, Space Agencies, Space Fotos, Space Science Institute.
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The dark shadows that drape Saturn's northern latitudes are split by three  familiar bright gaps

Credit:

NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Description:

The dark shadows that drape Saturn's northern latitudes are split by three familiar bright gaps. From bottom to top, sunlight passes through the broad Cassini Division (4,800 kilometers, or 2,980 miles wide), the Encke gap (325 kilometers, or 200 miles wide) and (barely visible) the Keeler gap (42 kilometers, or 26 miles wide).

It is unlikely that the shadows cast by Saturn's rings have much of an effect on the large-scale movements of the atmosphere. The dynamic clouds of this gas giant are driven by processes going on much deeper inside the planet, where sunlight does not penetrate.

The image was taken using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 752 nanometers. The image was acquired with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on April 28, 2006 at a distance of approximately 377,000 kilometers (234,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 19 kilometers (12 miles) per pixel.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

Titan on the Side May 31, 2006

Posted by John Tintle (MtO deadbait) in Cassini, JPL, NASA, Planets, Saturn, Space Agencies, Space Fotos, Space Science Institute, Titan.
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Saturn's largest moon, Titan, peaks out from under the planet's rings of  ice

Credit:

NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Description: 

Saturn's largest moon, Titan, peaks out from under the planet's rings of ice.

This view looks toward Titan (5,150 kilometers, or 3,200 miles across) from slightly beneath the ringplane. The dark Encke gap (325 kilometers, or 200 miles wide) is visible here, as is the narrow F ring.

Images taken using red, green and blue spectral filters were combined to create this natural color view. The images were taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on April 28, 2006 at a distance of approximately 1.8 million kilometers (1.1 million miles) from Titan. Image scale is 11 kilometers (7 miles) per pixel on Titan.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/home/index.cfm. The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org.

Help from Orion May 29, 2006

Posted by John Tintle (MtO deadbait) in Cassini, JPL, NASA, Orion, Planets, Saturn, Space Fotos, Space Science Institute.
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Help from Orion
Target Name: Saturn
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: Cassini
Spacecraft: Cassini Orbiter
Instrument: Imaging Science Subsystem – Narrow Angle
Product Size: 747 samples x 653 lines
Produced By: Cassini Imaging Team
Primary Data Set: Cassini
Full-Res TIFF: PIA08187.tif (488.6 kB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA08187.jpg (12.78 kB)

Credit:

NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute 

Description:

The brilliant supergiant star, Rigel, emerges from behind the haze of Saturn's upper atmosphere in this Cassini view.

Rigel in is one of the 10 brightest stars in Earth's sky and forms the left foot (sometimes referred to as the left knee) of the familiar constellation Orion.

Imaging scientists use views like these to probe the vertical structure of haze in Saturn's upper atmosphere. The dimming of the star at each altitude in the atmosphere yields information on the density of the haze at that location.

The image was taken in visible green light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on April 28, 2006 at a distance of approximately 663,000 kilometers (412,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 4 kilometers (2 miles) per pixel.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/home/index.cfm. The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org.

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