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#226 2006-10-06 06:13:17

Palomar
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Re: Cassini-Huygens - NASA/ESA Saturn orbiter & Titan lander

"Kissing" lakes on Titan:

Each 12 to 16 miles in diameter

I don't know much about radar (vast understatement), but it seems we can just barely see through to ground beneath the lakes in some portions of the photo.  I wonder if these are shallow lakes or if it's just something weird about radar images.


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#227 2006-10-10 04:44:05

Palomar
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Re: Cassini-Huygens - NASA/ESA Saturn orbiter & Titan lander

Saturnian Cloud Glow

This false-color view depicts Saturn’s deep-level clouds as they are silhouetted the ringed planet’s glowing interior. This mosaic of several images – captured by Cassini’s visual and infrared mapping spectrometer.

Cassini researchers said that the wide variety of cloud shapes and sizes revealed a surprisingly active planet below its layer of light-scattering haze.

-also-

Sepia tones

Photo from dark side of rings.  Very beautiful.  Those, to me, are "traditional" Saturnian colors.  Tiny Tethys is towards the lower left.


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#228 2006-10-12 06:50:37

Palomar
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Re: Cassini-Huygens - NASA/ESA Saturn orbiter & Titan lander

Titan's surface:  Dusty dunes?

Forget vast liquid reservoirs.  Speculation that Titan is covered with dunes possibly several kilometers deep.  These dunes are likely more dust than sand, though; one scientist is dubbing it "smust."


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#229 2006-10-25 08:30:21

Palomar
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Re: Cassini-Huygens - NASA/ESA Saturn orbiter & Titan lander

Titan's surface:  Dusty dunes?

Forget vast liquid reservoirs.  Speculation that Titan is covered with dunes possibly several kilometers deep.  These dunes are likely more dust than sand, though; one scientist is dubbing it "smust."

Next Cassini flyby is Oct. 25. 

Cassini to try and determine composition of dunes

Volcanoes and lakes also in the search.


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#230 2006-11-07 10:47:13

Palomar
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Re: Cassini-Huygens - NASA/ESA Saturn orbiter & Titan lander

O Golden Night...

[URL=http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/images/image-details.cfm?imageID=2348]the rings are brightly shiiii-ning[/URL]

smile  Fabulous.


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#231 2006-11-08 22:44:04

SpaceNut
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Re: Cassini-Huygens - NASA/ESA Saturn orbiter & Titan lander

This is the sort of thing that makes me angry with Nasa...
Death of a Spacecraft: The Unknown Fate of Cassini

Current planning is for a two year mission extension that ends on July 1, 2010,"
Sometime around 2012, Cassini, like the ocean-going ships of old, will need to be decommissioned.

"Perhaps the most likely option is to leave Cassini in a long-lived orbit that would have little to no risk of ever hitting anything," Mitchell said. "Another is to impact Saturn like Galileo did at Jupiter, although there are some complications with this one."

Gee impacting seems to be the preferred method of trash removal.
What I am wondering is if the craft could be put into a slingshot ejection path towards some other planet. Since it has plenty of power from the RTG.

Edit should have read a little further:

The third option: raise anchor and escape the Saturn system altogether. Such a maneuver would require numerous flybys of Saturn's largest moon Titan to sling the spacecraft free of the ringed planet's environs.

Yup once free lots of places to go explore.....

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#232 2006-11-10 02:25:42

cIclops
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Re: Cassini-Huygens - NASA/ESA Saturn orbiter & Titan lander

IMG002350-br500.jpg
Eye of a Monster Storm on Saturn

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has seen something never before seen on another planet -- a hurricane-like storm at Saturn's south pole with a well-developed eye, ringed by towering clouds.

The "hurricane" spans a dark area inside a thick, brighter ring of clouds. It is approximately 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles) across, or two thirds the diameter of Earth.


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#233 2006-11-10 08:58:43

Palomar
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Re: Cassini-Huygens - NASA/ESA Saturn orbiter & Titan lander

Hi cIclops:  That is an amazing photo!  I've seen only one other (less remarkable) picture of it.

"It looks like a hurricane, but it doesn't behave like a hurricane"

A movie taken by Cassini's camera over a three-hour period reveals winds around Saturn's south pole blowing clockwise at 550 kilometers (350 miles) per hour. The camera also saw the shadow cast by a ring of towering clouds surrounding the pole, and two spiral arms of clouds extending from the central ring. These ring clouds, 30 to 75 kilometers (20 to 45 miles) above those in the center of the storm, are two to five times taller than the clouds of thunderstorms and hurricanes on Earth.

Distinctive eye-wall clouds had not been seen on any planet other than Earth. Even Jupiter's Great Red Spot, much larger than Saturn's polar storm, has no eye or eye-wall and is relatively calm at the center.

This giant Saturnian storm is apparently different from hurricanes on Earth because it is locked to the pole and does not drift around. Also, since Saturn is a gaseous planet, the storm forms without an ocean at its base.

Full article


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#234 2006-12-15 09:51:57

Palomar
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Re: Cassini-Huygens - NASA/ESA Saturn orbiter & Titan lander

Enceladus mystery solved?  Link:

[URL=http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=21466]Could tiny moon's geyser be due to clathrate??[/URL]

Never heard of clathrate before, but given all the known facts...it makes sense.  Would explain the "Tiger Stripes" too.


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#235 2007-01-19 15:17:18

Palomar
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Re: Cassini-Huygens - NASA/ESA Saturn orbiter & Titan lander

Prepare to oooh and aaahhh:

http://www.space.com/imageoftheday/imag … 70119.html

That is GORGEOUS!


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#236 2007-02-02 13:03:12

Palomar
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Re: Cassini-Huygens - NASA/ESA Saturn orbiter & Titan lander

http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/0 … _moon.html

Scientists predicted such a cloud.  It's 1500 miles/2400 km in size, half the U.S. continent.  Entirely engulfs Titan's north pole.  They're speculating it could endure for 25 years, disappear for 4 to 5, then re-form.  Only visible now after emerging from shadow/winter.

16 more Cassini flybys...more opportunities to get additional information.  smile


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#237 2007-02-10 08:48:17

Palomar
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Re: Cassini-Huygens - NASA/ESA Saturn orbiter & Titan lander

Saturn's moon Enceladus is a 'cosmic graffiti artist'

Astronomers from the University of Virginia and other institutions have found that Enceladus, the sixth-largest moon of Saturn, is a "cosmic graffiti artist," pelting the surfaces of at least 11 other moons of Saturn with ice particles sprayed from its spewing surface geysers.

This ice sandblasts the other moons, creating a reflective surface that makes them among the brightest bodies in the solar system.

Article:

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n0702/08graffiti/


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#238 2007-02-10 13:42:07

GCNRevenger
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Re: Cassini-Huygens - NASA/ESA Saturn orbiter & Titan lander

Cool


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#239 2007-03-13 07:34:09

Palomar
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Re: Cassini-Huygens - NASA/ESA Saturn orbiter & Titan lander

Enceladus heat from radioactive decay?

http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/0703...ladus_heat.html

Scientists believe heat from radioactive decay...shortly after it formed billions of years ago may explain why geysers are erupting from the surface today.

raising the possibility that the moon, which has an overall surface temperature of about minus-330 degrees, may have an internal environment suitable for primitive life.

a new model suggests ancient radioactive decay played a key role in shaping the moon's warm south pole region...According to the theory, Enceladus formed some 4.5 billion years ago by the mixing of ice and rock containing radioactive isotopes of aluminum and iron. Over a period of several million years, the rapid decay of the isotopes produced a burst of heat that resulted in a rocky core enclosed by an ice sheet. Over time, the remaining decomposition in the core further warmed and melted the moon's interior.

“It tells us that conditions inside Enceladus either were or still are conducive to biochemical reactions"...Cassini scientists plan to measure the composition of the gas rising from the plume during an Enceladus flyby in 2008.

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#240 2007-03-13 15:16:48

Palomar
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Re: Cassini-Huygens - NASA/ESA Saturn orbiter & Titan lander

Huge seas on Titan:

http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/0 … lakes.html

Unsure if they're fluid filled or not.

One of the seas [image] is larger than any of the Great Lakes in North America and possibly only slightly smaller than the Caspian Sea

located near Titan's north pole, and one of them measures at least 39,000 square miles

There is no proof yet that these seas contain liquid, but their shape and darkness indicate smoothness, and other properties point to the presence of liquid

The seas discovery has prompted Cassini mission engineers to repoint Cassini's radar instrument to pass directly over the dark areas during a May flyby of the moon.

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#241 2007-03-23 15:54:20

Palomar
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Re: Cassini-Huygens - NASA/ESA Saturn orbiter & Titan lander

Enceladus geysers mask the length of Saturn's day

In a David and Goliath story of Saturnian proportions, the little moon Enceladus is weighing down giant Saturn's magnetic field so much that the field is rotating slower than the planet. This phenomenon makes it nearly impossible to measure the length of the Saturn day using techniques that work at the other giant planets.

Hmmmmmm. 

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/cassini/0 … ladus.html

"No one could have predicted that the little moon Enceladus would have such an influence on the radio technique that has been used for years to determine the length of the Saturn day"

Once again Enceladus steals the limelight from Titan.  big_smile

Finding out the length of Saturn's day has been a challenge because the gaseous planet has no surface or fixed point to clock its rotation rate. Initially, the approach was to use periodic regular radio signals, as has been done for Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune.

However, Saturn's radio period has turned out to be troubling in two ways:  It seems to be a pulsed signal rather than a rotating, lighthouse-like beam. Secondly, the period seems to be slowly changing over months to years.

Maybe its extensive/complicated Rings are the difference?  Compared to Saturn, the other gas giants' rings are nothing.

Based on the new observations, scientists now think there are two possible reasons for the change in radio period. The first theory is that the geysers on Enceladus could be more active now than in Voyagers' time.

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#242 2007-03-28 06:10:55

Palomar
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Re: Cassini-Huygens - NASA/ESA Saturn orbiter & Titan lander

From spaceweather.com:

---

"We've never seen anything like it on any other planet," says atmospheric scientist Kevin Baines of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It is a hexagon twice as wide as Earth encircling Saturn's north pole. First observed by the Voyager spacecraft in the 1980s, the hexagon has been sighted anew by the Cassini probe:

http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/i … ageID=2549

Article attached to image says:

The strong brightness of the hexagon feature indicates that it is primarily a clearing in the clouds, which extends deep into the atmosphere, at least down to the 3-bar (3-Earth atmospheres pressure) level, about 75 kilometers (47 miles) below the clouds and hazes seen in visible wavelengths. Thick clouds border both sides of the narrow feature, as indicated by the adjacent dark lanes paralleling the bright hexagon.

In this infrared photo taken by Cassini's VIMS camera, the blue color traces auroras at high altitudes in Saturn's atmosphere. Red indicates the amount heat filtering up through clouds below. Researchers believe the auroras and the hexagon are unrelated.

The hexagon could be a distant cousin of Earth's polar vortex, but while Earth's vortex is a circle, Saturn's may be molded into a hexagon by some strange pattern of atmospheric waves. "Saturn's thick atmosphere where circularly-shaped waves and convective cells dominate is perhaps the last place you'd expect to see such a six-sided geometric figure," says Baines. In short, it's a mystery."

---

smile


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#243 2007-03-28 12:41:45

RedStreak
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Re: Cassini-Huygens - NASA/ESA Saturn orbiter & Titan lander

Surpisng what you find on other words...but considering the Face of Mars (and also a 'Smilie Face' of Mars) it's not terribly unusual to see something distinct.

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#244 2007-03-28 13:43:48

noosfractal
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Re: Cassini-Huygens - NASA/ESA Saturn orbiter & Titan lander

"We've never seen anything like it on any other planet," says atmospheric scientist Kevin Baines of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It is a hexagon twice as wide as Earth encircling Saturn's north pole.

I wondered if anything like it had been seen in fluid dynamics before, and the answer appears to be: not until recently ...

Polygons on a Rotating Fluid Surface
http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/physics/pdf/0511/0511251.pdf

Includes pretty pictures and a fun graph showing how the number of sides of the polygon depends on the rotational speed of the generator and its depth beneath the fluid surface.


Fan of Red Oasis

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#245 2007-05-26 07:10:18

Yang Liwei Rocket
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Re: Cassini-Huygens - NASA/ESA Saturn orbiter & Titan lander

NASA Cassini Image: Coasts and Drowned Mountains on Titan

http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=24308

Like other bodies of liquid seen on Titan, this feature reveals channels, islands, bays, and other features typical of terrestrial coastlines, and the liquid, most likely a combination of methane and ethane, appears very dark to the radar instrument. What is striking about this portion of the sea compared to other liquid bodies on Titan is the relative absence of brighter regions within it, suggesting that the depth of the liquid here exceeds tens of meters (tens of yards). Of particular note is the presence of isolated islands, which follow the same direction as the peninsula to their lower right, suggesting that they may be part of a mountain ridgeline that has been flooded. This is analogous to, for example, Catalina Island off the coast of Southern California.


'first steps are not for cheap, think about it...
did China build a great Wall in a day ?' ( Y L R newmars forum member )

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#246 2007-07-01 13:34:47

DEChengst
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Re: Cassini-Huygens - NASA/ESA Saturn orbiter & Titan lander


PDP, VAX and Alpha fanatic ; HP-Compaq is the Satan! ; Let us pray daily while facing Maynard! ; Life starts at 150 km/h ;

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#247 2007-07-01 14:21:20

noosfractal
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Re: Cassini-Huygens - NASA/ESA Saturn orbiter & Titan lander

Wow, thanks DEChengst.

Those are craters in the icy surface, and not lumps, right?  I always have trouble telling the difference.


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#248 2007-07-05 06:56:37

Palomar
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Re: Cassini-Huygens - NASA/ESA Saturn orbiter & Titan lander

Hyperion is "all kinds of weird":

http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/0707...ponge_moon.html

...so pockmarked by deep craters that it looks like a giant, rotating bath sponge adrift in space.
 
New image analyses suggest the moon's odd appearance is the result of a highly porous surface that preserves craters, allowing them to remain nearly as pristine as the day they were created.

Scientists determined that Hyperion is composed mostly of water ice and that the bottoms of its craters are covered in a dark red gunk that could be the key to resolving some of the moon's other strange properties.

More about the "dark red gunk" in a moment.

Hyperion undergoes "chaotic rotation," meaning its axis of rotation shifts so much that scientists can't reliably predict its orientation in space.

Hyperion's high porosity could explain its sponge-like appearance, scientists say. A large meteor striking Earth's moon will gouge a deep hole on the surface and send up a giant spray of rock and dust. The excavated material rains back down onto the lunar surface and into other craters, partially filling them in. In contrast, the surface of Hyperion is so brittle that an object striking it will create a hole but not send any material flying. Surrounding craters remain as deep as when they first formed.

The reddish gunk contains long chains of carbon and hydrogen and appears very similar to material found on other Saturnian satellites, most notably Iaeptus.

This link has some scientists speculating that Hyperion's strange shape and Iaeptus' odd paint job share a common origin. "Maybe Hyperion got hit and is the origin of this dark stuff which then got spewed out and got swept up by Iapetus," Cruickshank told SPACE.com.

According to this idea, a giant object collided with a still-round Hyperion in the distant past. The impact sent Hyperion into a cosmic spin that it is still reeling from today and caused a shower of dust-like particles to fly outwards through space, where it struck an unaware Iapetus full in the face.

"That's not completely implausible," Cruickshank said. If Iapetus "ran into a dust storm as it orbited around Saturn, the dust would be distributed the way we see it."

As to what the object might have been that struck Hyperion, Cruickshank notes that the same reddish gunk can also be found on other icy objects in the outer solar system, including other moons, Kuiper belt objects and comets.


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#249 2007-10-14 00:13:29

EuroLauncher
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Re: Cassini-Huygens - NASA/ESA Saturn orbiter & Titan lander

Drizzly Mornings On Xanadu
http://www.saturndaily.com/reports/Driz … u_999.html
Noted for its bizarre hydrocarbon lakes and frozen methane clouds, Saturn's largest moon, Titan, also appears to have widespread drizzles of methane, according to a team of astronomers at the University of California, Berkeley. New near-infrared images from ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile and the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii show for the first time a nearly global cloud cover at high elevations and, dreary as it may seem, a widespread and persistent morning drizzle of methane over the western foothills of Titan's major continent, Xanadu.

In most of the Keck and VLT images, liquid methane clouds and drizzle appear at the morning edge of Titan, the arc of the moon that has just rotated into the light of the sun...

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#250 2007-12-05 10:50:58

cIclops
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Re: Cassini-Huygens - NASA/ESA Saturn orbiter & Titan lander

PIA09786-br500.jpg
Enceladus Afar - imaged 27 Oct 2007

Higher resolution images

Enceladus is seen here, across the unilluminated side of Saturn's rings. A hint of the moon's active south polar region can be seen as a just slightly dark area at bottom.

This view was obtained from about 1 degree above the ringplane. Enceladus is 505 kilometers (314 miles) across.

The image was taken in polarized green light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Oct. 27, 2007. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 2.1 million kilometers (1.3 million miles) from Enceladus. Image scale is 13 kilometers (8 miles) per pixel.


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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