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#101 2005-08-11 12:35:43

Palomar
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From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

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

Saturn's Anti-Hurricanes

*Like:  Far out.  big_smile

Includes movies.  Yeah, baby, I am digging these scenes.  cool

The region below center in these images (at minus 35 degrees) has seen regular storm activity since Cassini first approached Saturn in early 2004. Cassini investigations of the atmosphere from February to October 2004 showed that most of the oval-shaped storms in the latitude region near minus 35 degrees rotate in a counter-clockwise direction, with smaller storms occasionally merging into larger ones

--Cindy

P.S.:  Cassini was 1.5 million miles from Saturn during.  I wonder how big that storm is?


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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#102 2005-08-12 08:42:04

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

Impressions from Cassini

*Obtained July 6 at a distance of 1.5 million miles. 

The feathery band that cuts across from the upper left corner to the right side of this scene has a chevron, or arrow, shape near the right. The center of the chevron is located at the latitude (about 28 degrees South) of an eastward-flowing zonal jet in the atmosphere. Counter-flowing eastward and westward jets are the dominant dynamic features seen in the giant planet atmospheres. A chevron-shaped feature with the tip pointed east means that this is a local maximum in the eastward wind and a region of horizontal wind shear, where clouds to the north and south of the jet are being swept back by the slower currents on the sides of the jet.

-*-

Epimetheus & the F Ring

Part of the little moon's night side is illuminated by reflected light from the planet.

Arrgh.  Eye strain.   :x  :shock:  sad  But yeah, can see the reflected light.  Just barely.

--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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#103 2005-08-12 09:52:15

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

That sure is alot of light cast off from the planets surface.

So what other breaking discoveries have I missed by not following the exploration of planet Saturn by the Cassini probe?

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#104 2005-08-15 11:44:36

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

*Here's the breakdown:

Cassini Calendar

September 5 looks like an interesting date on the calendar.  IIRC we've not yet seen a photo of the moon named Methone.  On that date Cassini will also view Sol as it passes behind Saturn; I'm really looking forward to the photos from that event.

The Titan flyby is only 6 days away.  I'm looking for information regarding the proposed objectives of that flyby; am still curious for a night-time survey over that "red spot" region scientists are wondering about (a heat source or not).  I checked this latest mission update article and see no reference to it.

SpaceNut:  I'll repost the Top 10 Science Highlights from the mission.  smile  Otherwise it looks like you've got some scrolling back (and back and back) to do , teehee.  smile

Last but not least:  Filaments & Vortices

Interesting difference in the appearances of those two storms.  One strongly resembles a Terran hurricane IMO, while the other looks like a donut. 

Atmospheric scientists do not yet fully understand what these filaments are, but some possible explanations have been proposed. The filaments might represent material connecting the spots if the two have recently split from a single storm. The spirals could also represent wind flow in the atmosphere.

--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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#105 2005-08-17 07:57:25

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

Animation of Titan's clouds

*Is of the area over that footprint-shaped depression which they're speculating might be (or might have been) a methane (rain) reservoir.  I wonder what makes some of the clouds so much brighter than other portions.  Obtained on June 6.

The appearance of the feature seen here is unique among the dark terrains observed thus far on Titan. Other dark areas appear to have angular or diffuse boundaries, while this one possesses a smooth perimeter, suggestive of an eroded shoreline.

In addition to the notion that the dark feature is or was a lake filled with liquid hydrocarbons, scientists have speculated about other possibilities. For instance, it is plausible that the lake is simply a broad depression filled by dark, solid hydrocarbons falling from the atmosphere onto Titan's surface. In this case, the smoothed outline might be the result of a process unrelated to rainfall, such as a sinkhole or a volcanic caldera.

-*-

Hyperion again

That danged moon always looks different in each photo.  This one is from August 16.  Hopefully they can put together an animated collage (or a computer simulation) of the entire thing, and rotate it each way -- I'd like to see Hyperion in that manner.  Strange moon.

-*-

Southern polar region of Rhea

A gash (left almost center) amongst many craters.

--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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#106 2005-08-17 14:02:31

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

*Hot off the space.com wire:

Saturn's Rings have their own atmosphere

Rings' atmosphere is separate from the gases around Saturn's globe.  Ring atmosphere contains molecular oxygen, which is also found in Earth's atmosphere.  Ring ice is the oxygen source.  They're speculating the Ring's atmosphere is kept in place by gravitational forces.

Though they're 155,343 miles wide x <1 mile thick:

If all the rings were squeezed into one solid ring, it would be no more than 62 miles (100 kilometers) across.

"As water comes off the rings, it is split by sunlight; the resulting hydrogen and atomic oxygen are then lost, leaving molecular oxygen,” said Cassini investigator Andrew Coates...

Saturn’s rings are made up mostly of water ice along with small amounts of dust and rocky bits. Ultraviolet rays from the Sun pry the water molecules loose from the rings and split them into their building blocks – hydrogen and the two forms of oxygen – by a process called photodissociation.

--Cindy  smile

::EDIT::  Can't overlook this:

The rings are not stable and are constantly regenerated, most likely from the break-up of Saturn’s satellites.

-and-

The ring system’s oxygen atmosphere differs drastically from the atmosphere of Saturn itself – Saturn’s atmosphere is 91 percent hydrogen by mass.


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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#107 2005-08-18 01:50:58

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

If all the rings were squeezed into one solid ring, it would be no more than 62 miles (100 kilometers) across.

... And still 1 mile thick, I presume? (Though they don't say so.)  :?:

Great article!  smile


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#108 2005-08-18 07:58:54

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

If all the rings were squeezed into one solid ring, it would be no more than 62 miles (100 kilometers) across.

... And still 1 mile thick, I presume? (Though they don't say so.)  :?:

*Yeah, the article doesn't mention what the difference would be thickness-wise.  The Rings are already under a mile thick. 

Wouldn't the thickness difference be in proportion to the width difference? 

Maybe someone better at math than I could calculate that difference. 

--Cindy

::EDIT::  Titan Flyby on August 22

Go Cassini!  Wooohooooo!  big_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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#109 2005-08-20 00:13:53

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

Cindy:-

Wouldn't the thickness difference be in proportion to the width difference?

Maybe someone better at math than I could calculate that difference.

Hmmm. Well, they say the rings are 250,000 kms wide and would squish down to 100 kms if they were solid. i.e. 2,500 times narrower.
-- The thickness is said to be:-

.. actually quite thin, less than a mile (1.5 kilometers).

Let's say the thickness is 1 km, just roughly.
-- Thus, if the reducing ratio is the same for the thickness as it is for the width, we would expect the thickness of the rings to reduce down to 1 km divided by 2,500.
-- This is equal to 0.0004 km, or 0.4 of a metre, or 40 cms.

-- In plain American English, that's a little less than 16 inches!  :shock:

-- Amazing that something so beautiful and so clearly obvious from so far away has so little substance.  :!:   smile


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#110 2005-08-20 04:55:52

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

Cindy:-

Wouldn't the thickness difference be in proportion to the width difference?

Maybe someone better at math than I could calculate that difference.

Hmmm. Well, they say the rings are 250,000 kms wide and would squish down to 100 kms if they were solid. i.e. 2,500 times narrower.
-- The thickness is said to be:-

.. actually quite thin, less than a mile (1.5 kilometers).

Let's say the thickness is 1 km, just roughly.
-- Thus, if the reducing ratio is the same for the thickness as it is for the width, we would expect the thickness of the rings to reduce down to 1 km divided by 2,500.
-- This is equal to 0.0004 km, or 0.4 of a metre, or 40 cms.

-- In plain American English, that's a little less than 16 inches!  :shock:

-- Amazing that something so beautiful and so clearly obvious from so far away has so little substance.  :!:   smile

*Hi Shaun:  Thanks for doing the math.  smile  Wow. 

So beautiful, yep.  And despite all our photos and movies of Saturn via Cassini and other instruments, I'm sure these artificial eyes cannot truly capture the magnificence of Saturn and its Rings.  To be able to see it upclose with our own eyes would, I'm sure, be literally mind-blowing.  To be able to travel with Cassini as a spaceship with lots of windows...it'd be 24/7 bliss out.  Sleep?  What's that?  LOL...

--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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#111 2005-08-20 05:39:58

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

Innermost D Ring
 

This close-up view is Cassini's best look yet at Saturn's tenuous innermost D ring. The narrow ringlet visible here is named "D68" and is the innermost discrete feature in the D ring. The image also clearly shows how the diffuse component of the D-ring tapers off as it approaches the planet.

A portion of the C Ring also visible, as are background stars.

The photo was taken on the Dark Side.  :twisted:  Lol...

-*-

Epimetheus

Mentions the two craters which are the only Epimethean features with official names.  Why not Castor for the other one? 

--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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#112 2005-08-22 02:39:34

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

Cindy:-

Why not Castor for the other one?

Good point - the "Heavenly Twins". Makes sense to me.  smile


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#113 2005-08-23 05:36:20

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

Titan flyby info rolling in

*This article mentions various provisional surface-feature names.  Cassini flew aprox 3,669 km above Titan's surface.  Raw images are expected this afternoon.

--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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#114 2005-08-25 06:14:28

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

Tethys looks very odd in this photo

*What a distinctive border Odysseus has.  We've seen another pic "head-on" of Odysseus wherein it looks like an eyeball.  That dark "equatorial band" is intriguing too; another mystery to keep tabs on.

Several moons in the outer solar system have large impact features like Odysseus, and scientists are interested in learning how such powerful impacts have altered the moons' surfaces.

Yeah...Odysseus measures 280 miles across while the entire moon is only 665 miles across.  Geez.  How did Tethys survive that impact?  It's like Mimas and Herschel too. Those two craters must surely be examples of the upper limits of impact sustainability.  neutral

-*-

Pandora glides along

Nice.  Can see cloud features (height) on Saturn's globe, too.  Sail on, little Pandora!

-*-

Supreme beauty

Swirling cloud bands, delicate ring shadows and icy moons make the Saturn system a place of supreme natural beauty.  Even Cassini's remarkable images can only provide the slightest sense of the experience of actually being there.

Indeed.  It'd be wonderfully and fantastically overwhelming.

--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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#115 2005-08-26 13:00:08

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

1st Quarter Mimas

*The shadowy stripes below are Ring shadows against the northern hemisphere.  Very serene.  Wish that were a color pic.

-*-

Above Rhea's South Pole

Wow...

Rhea's icy surface is so heavily saturated with impact craters that the moon's limb, or edge, has a rugged, bumpy appearance.

Yep; extreme upper left-hand side.  Some bombardment.  :shock:

-*-

The Saffron Moon

Not orange... saffronbig_smile 

Natural color.  Check out Titan Mosaic link within.

--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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#116 2005-08-26 13:24:58

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

Cindy, check out that white cloud on the left side, near the end of the movie. It looks almost like it is coming from a stationary source- like a volcano venting (I know it can’t be a volcano venting, but that is what it looks like)

Saturn's Anti-Hurricanes

*Like:  Far out.  big_smile

Includes movies.  Yeah, baby, I am digging these scenes.  cool

The region below center in these images (at minus 35 degrees) has seen regular storm activity since Cassini first approached Saturn in early 2004. Cassini investigations of the atmosphere from February to October 2004 showed that most of the oval-shaped storms in the latitude region near minus 35 degrees rotate in a counter-clockwise direction, with smaller storms occasionally merging into larger ones

--Cindy

P.S.:  Cassini was 1.5 million miles from Saturn during.  I wonder how big that storm is?


"Run for it? Running's not a plan! Running's what you do, once a plan fails!"  -Earl Bassett

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#117 2005-08-28 19:34:45

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

REB wrote:

Cindy, check out that white cloud on the left side, near the end of the movie. It looks almost like it is coming from a stationary source- like a volcano venting (I know it can’t be a volcano venting, but that is what it looks like)

Palomar wrote:

Saturn's Anti-Hurricanes

*Like:  Far out.  big_smile

Includes movies.  Yeah, baby, I am digging these scenes.  cool

*Hi REB.  I'll have to check it again on my other computer, which is on the lam right now; I do recall what you're referring to, but want to watch it again.  I'll edit this post later with further comments.  Isn't Saturn fab?  big_smile 

--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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#118 2005-08-30 13:38:31

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

Cassini discovery:  Enceladus' "Tiger Stripes" are very young

*They're between 10 and 1,000 years old.  This supports previous indications that E has an active south polar region.  8) 

These cracked features are approximately 80 miles long, spaced about 25 miles apart and run roughly parallel to each another.

The cracks act like vents. They spew vapor and fine ice water particles that have become ice crystals. This crystallization process can help scientists pin down the age of the features

Article says E is constantly evolving/changing.

This finding is especially exciting because ground-based observers have seen tiny Enceladus brighten as its south pole was visible from Earth. Cassini allows scientists to see close up the brightening is caused by geologic activity.  When NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft flew over the moon's north pole in 1981, it did not observe the tiger stripes.

Typo?

"One of the most fascinating aspects of Enceladus is that it is so very small as icy moons go, but so very geophysically active. It's hard for a body as small as Enceladus to hold onto the heat necessary to drive such large-scale geophysical phenomena, but it has done just that," said Dr. Bob Brown. Brown is a team leader for the visual and infrared mapping spectrometer at the University of Arizona, Tucson.  "Enceladus and its incredible geology is a marvelous puzzle for us to figure out," he added.

--Cindy  big_smile

P.S.:  REB, my other computer (which allows viewing of movies) is still on the fritz.  I'll get back to you on it, though.


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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#119 2005-08-31 07:44:35

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

On the Lookout for Spokes

*I thought Cassini had seen the spokes phenomena at least once in the mission.  Hmmmmm.  I'm hoping Cassini will see spokes.  Those are interesting.

The pic is an extreme contrast view of the unlit side of S's rings.

-*-

Enceladus' atmosphere -not- global

A localized atmosphere.  Cool.  Study involves Bellatrix occultation (mentioned previously, weeks ago). 

Enceladus' atmosphere is localized, not global in extent. As Bellatrix re-emerged from behind Enceladus, there was no dimming of the starlight observed. An occultation of the star Lambda Scorpius in February also showed no sign of an atmosphere, as illustrated in figure B. In figure A and B, the arrow marks the path of the star as it was blocked from view by Enceladus. In figure A, the dimming of the starlight shows as a gradual decrease in brightness, while in figure B the starlight drops abruptly just at the point in time that the star goes behind Enceladus.

Sorry, Titan:  You're having to share the spotlight.  wink

-*-

Oh Those Rings

Always spectacular.  The moon Pan is in the photo too.

--Cindy

P.S.:  There are half a dozen further Enceladus items in the Latest Press Images section of The C-H (NASA/JPL) homepage.

P.P.S.:  Next Titan flyby is September 7, flyby distance of 668 miles.


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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#120 2005-09-01 05:28:12

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

*Am wondering if Cassini mission controllers will have the wherewithal to keep tabs on the possible (likely) auroral activity Saturn may soon encounter.  There was a coronal mass ejection on the Sun yesterday; those energies are heading for Saturn.  Will checking for auroral activity be possible at Cassini's current location, how much of the schedule would have to be arranged (if much/at all), etc.  ? 

Will be on the lookout for image and data return.

--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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#121 2005-09-02 10:56:27

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

Enceladus animation

-*-

Diagnostic Darkness

Gorgeous photo.

This magnificent view looks down upon, and partially through, Saturn's rings from their unlit side.

As an added (but tiny) bonus, Saturn's moon Atlas (32 kilometers, or 20 miles across) is visible as a dark speck against the planet, just outside the A ring.

I can't see Atlas, but my eyes are very tired and I'm not eager to strain them.  neutral

-*-

Tethys in the Dark & Saturnshine

The craters (Penelope and Antinous) really set that photo off.  smile

--Cindy

P.S.:  Titan flyby only 4 days away.


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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#122 2005-09-05 21:33:55

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

Titan Flyby:  Sept. 7

*Looking for lakes in the high southern latitudes.  Mentions other flyby objectives as well..including looking for lightning.  Oooooo...that'd be great, if detected.

-*-

I saw the following item referred to in a cable TV news ticker:

Changes in Saturn's Rings baffle scientists

Dramatic changes noticed just within 25 years' time. 

Among the most surprising findings is that parts of Saturn's innermost ring — the D ring — have grown dimmer since the Voyager spacecraft flew by the planet in 1981, and a piece of the D ring has moved 125 miles inward toward Saturn.

Is prompting further questions/speculations about Rings' lifetime and ages. 

Good work, Cassini!  smile

--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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#123 2005-09-06 09:57:51

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

Dragon Storms & Tiger Stripes:  Scientists Stunned by New Saturn Data

*Excellent article which meshes together all the latest intriguing discoveries and newest questions.  A must-read.

--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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#124 2005-09-07 10:41:37

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

Fresh Tiger Stripes on Enceladus

*Spectacular photo.  Definitely the best I've yet seen.  What odd coloring too:  A putty-colored moon with icy blue "stripes."  Very beautiful, though, in its own uniquely weird way. 

--Cindy

p.s.:  Uh-oh...sometimes the pic downloads easily and sometimes it doesn't.  Not sure why.  Is worth the effort, though.

-*-

::EDIT::  Tiny Enceladus May Hold Ingredients of Life  Yep, Titan's having to share the spotlight.  big_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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#125 2005-09-10 00:37:52

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

Methane monsoons may lash Titan   :shock:

The team observed "vigorous centres" in the clouds as they rose from a height of 23 kilometres to 44 km at speeds of several tens of metres per second. Then, the cloud tops dissipated or fell 10 kilometres over the next 30 minutes. This suggests the clouds "evolve convectively and dissipate through rain," reported Caitlin Griffith of the University of Arizona on Thursday.

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