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Many Colors, Many Moons October 14, 2008

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Four moons huddle near Saturn's multi-hued disk.
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Full Res Image

Description:

Four moons huddle near Saturn’s multi-hued disk.The coloration of the planet’s northern hemisphere has changed noticeably since the Cassini spacecraft’s arrival in orbit in mid-2004. Imaging scientists are working to understand the causes of this change, which is suspected to be a seasonal effect.

Giant Titan (5,150 kilometers, or 3,200 miles across), with its darker winter hemisphere, dominates the smaller moons in the scene. Beneath and left of Titan is Janus (181 kilometers, or 113 miles across). Mimas (397 kilometers, or 247 miles across) appears as a bright dot close to the planet and beneath the rings. Prometheus (102 kilometers, or 63 miles across) is a faint speck hugging the rings between the two small moons.

This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from less than a degree above the ringplane.

Images taken using red, green and blue spectral filters were combined to create this natural color view. The view was acquired with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Oct. 26, 2007, at a distance of approximately 1.5 million kilometers (920,000 miles) from Saturn and 2.7 million kilometers (1.7 million miles) from Titan. Image scale is 89 kilometers (55 miles) per pixel on Saturn and 164 kilometers (102 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 . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org .

Credit:

NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

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Focus on Enceladus October 13, 2008

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Enceladus in front of a backgdrop of Saturn's rings
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Full-Res: PIA10485

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Ring shadows line the face of distant Saturn, providing an exquisite backdrop for the brilliant, white sphere of Enceladus. This icy moon, with its heavily modified surface and towering plume of icy material, is a target of intense study for Cassini during its Equinox mission.This image was taken simultaneously with Gathering of Moons and looks toward the leading side of Enceladus (504 kilometers, or 313 miles across). North is up.

The image was taken in visible green light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on June 28, 2007. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 291,000 kilometers (181,000 miles) from Enceladus and at a Sun-Enceladus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 15 degrees. Image scale is 2 kilometers (1 mile) 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 . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org .

Credit:

NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Saturn by Ringshine September 24, 2008

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Large regions of Saturn's night side are illuminated by the planet's gleaming rings.
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Full-Res: PIA10476

Description:

Large regions of Saturn’s night side are illuminated by the planet’s gleaming rings. Except for a sliver of the sunlit crescent at left, this view shows a part of the planet lit almost entirely by ringshine.The southern hemisphere, at bottom, receives its illumination from sunlight that strikes the rings’ southern face and is reflected onto the planet. The northern hemisphere, at top, is lit by the feeble light that wends its way through countless ring particles to emerge on the rings’ north face.

Despite the dim lighting on the northern part of the planet, many cloud features can be seen there nevertheless.

This view was acquired from about 44 degrees above the ringplane. At bottom, the planet’s shadow stretches across the D and C rings.

Images taken using red, green and blue spectral filters were combined to create this natural color view. The images were obtained with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on April 23, 2007 at a distance of approximately 901,000 kilometers (560,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 50 kilometers (31 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 . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org .

Credit:

NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

PIA10465: Saturn Gets in the Way September 11, 2008

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Saturn Gets in the Way

Credit:

NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Description:

The Cassini spacecraft continued to track Saturn’s moon Prometheus after it disappeared behind the planet, capturing a few fortunate, high-resolution views of the clouds in Saturn’s high north.

PIA10463 was taken an hour earlier, just before the moon vanished behind Saturn. Later, when Prometheus reappeared from behind the planet, Cassini was waiting to take more images.

The view is centered on a region located about 70 degrees north of Saturn’s equator. North is toward the top of the image and rotated 28 degrees to the right. The vortices seen here are among the swarm of bright spots seen in PIA10449, just south of the north polar hexagon.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Aug. 9, 2008. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.2 million kilometers (746,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 7 kilometers (4 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/. The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org.

Great Southern Land August 19, 2008

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Saturn's moon Enceladus
Description:

This sweeping mosaic of Saturn’s moon Enceladus provides broad regional context for the ultra-sharp, close-up views NASA’s Cassini spacecraft acquired minutes earlier, during its flyby on Aug. 11, 2008. See PIA11114 and PIA11113 for the higher resolution views.

This false-color mosaic combines Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) narrow-angle camera images obtained through ultraviolet, green, and near-infrared camera filters. Areas that are greenish in appearance are believed to represent deposits of coarser grained ice and solid boulders that are too small to be seen at this scale, but which are visible in the higher resolution views, while whitish deposits represent finer grained ice. The mosaic shows that coarse-grained and solid ice are concentrated along valley floors and walls, as well as along the upraised flanks of the “tiger stripe” fractures, which may be covered with plume fallout that landed not far from the sources. Elsewhere on Enceladus, this coarse water ice is concentrated within outcrops along cliff faces and at the top of ridges. The sinuous boundary of scarps and ridges that encircles the south polar terrain at about 55 degrees south latitude is conspicuous. Much of the coarse-grained or solid ice along this boundary may be blocky rubble that has crumbled off of cliff faces as a result of ongoing seismic activity. This mosaic complements the imaging coverage acquired during Cassini’s July 2005 flyby of Enceladus by showing portions of the moon’s south polar region and tiger stripes, or sulci, that were in darkness during that flyby (PIA06247).

The reversed lighting conditions over the polar region (compared to the July 2005 images) highlight features, such as fractures and ridges, that are barely visible in the July 2005 views, and vice versa. The four most prominent sulci (from top to bottom: Damascus, Baghdad, Alexandria and Cairo) appear as generally horizontal fractures near lower right, and they extend into the moon’s night side. The mosaic is an orthographic projection centered at 63.0 degrees south latitude, 281.3 degrees west longitude, and has an image scale of 60 meters (196 feet) per pixel. The original images ranged in resolution from 28 to 154 meters (92 to 505 feet) per pixel and were taken at distances ranging from 5,064 to 25,949 kilometers (3,140 to 15,468 miles) from Enceladus.

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 . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org.

Credit:

NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

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High resolution JPEG (7.9Mb)

Swirling With Shadows December 1, 2006

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This spectacular image of Saturn's clouds looks obliquely across the high northern latitudes. The Sun is low on the horizon here, making the vertical extent of the clouds easier to see. Cloud bands surrounding the vortex

Image Credit:

NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Explanation:

This spectacular image of Saturn’s clouds looks obliquely across the high northern latitudes. The Sun is low on the horizon here, making the vertical extent of the clouds easier to see. Cloud bands surrounding the vortex at lower left rise above their surroundings, casting shadows toward the bottom of the image.

Some motion blur is apparent in this view.

The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 938 nanometers on Oct. 30, 2006. Cassini was then at a distance of approximately 1.2 million kilometers (700,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 142 degrees. Image scale is 7 kilometers (4 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.

Ring of Light July 1, 2006

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Ring of Light

Credit:

NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Description:

Dazzling Titan glows with a 360-degree sunset as light scatters through its very extended atmosphere. Some structure is visible in the hazes of the northern polar hood.

To the left is Janus (181 kilometers, or 113 miles across), far off on the opposite side of the ringplane. The rings show their unlit side to Cassini, as the spacecraft viewed them from slightly above the ringplane.

A world with strikingly Earth-like physical processes, frigid Titan is Saturn’s largest natural satellite, at 5,150 kilometers (3,200 miles) across. Titan’s image is saturated at the 5 o’clock position.

The view was acquired in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on June 2, 2006 at a distance of approximately 2.3 million kilometers (1.5 million miles) from Titan and at a Sun-Titan-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 163 degrees. Cassini was 3.7 million kilometers (2.3 million miles) from Janus. Image scale is 14 kilometers (9 miles) per pixel on Titan and 22 kilometers (14 miles) on Janus.

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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