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Blog Archive


How to Recognize Titan from Quite a Long Way Away

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/08/09 05:16 CDT

You know, I could fill this blog almost entirely with the amazing images that Gordan Ugarkovic locates, processes into prettiness, and uploads to his Flickr account.

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Cassini catches four little moons in motion

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/08/05 05:06 CDT

I've posted animations from Cassini before in which there are multiple moons moving around, but this is one of the coolest such sequences I've seen yet.

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Goodies from the latest Cassini data release

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/08/02 05:50 CDT

I've spent a pleasurable hour or so browsing over the latest release of images from Cassini to the Planetary Data System.

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Watching the birth and death of moonlets in Saturn's F ring

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/07/22 09:09 CDT

The Saturn system is always in motion, always changing. Saturn itself is a gas giant, with swirling storms, and like the other gas giants it has a host of moons flying around, perturbing each other's motions. And then there's the rings.

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Cassini eyes Janus

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/07/13 01:56 CDT

Four times a year, the Cassini mission releases three months' worth of data gathered from Saturn and its moons to NASA's Planetary Data System.

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Sharpest-ever images of Daphnis

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/07/06 02:58 CDT

As promised last week, Cassini has delivered its best photos yet of the tiny moon Daphnis, the ringmoon that is responsible for carving out the skinny Keeler gap at the outer edge of Saturn's A ring.

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Two moons making waves in the rings

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/06/18 11:22 CDT

Just a pretty picture post, a dramatic Cassini shot on the outer edge of the A ring captured earlier this month.

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The most amazing image of Enceladus Cassini has captured yet

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/19 01:05 CDT

Every time I think Cassini has captured the coolest image of Enceladus ever, it does better.

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Pictures hitting Earth from Cassini's close Enceladus flyby today

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/18 05:48 CDT

Cassini flew within 436 kilometers of Enceladus' surface today. Although it's Cassini's 11th targeted flyby of Enceladus, these close buzzes are never routine.

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New maps of Enceladus and other moons

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/13 02:26 CDT

Every time Cassini gets reasonably close to one of the moons of Saturn, whether the close approach is a targeted one or just an opportunistic encounter, its planners usually take advantage of the proximity to take a bunch of photos.

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A Martian Moment in Time, revisited

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/12 02:30 CDT

A good start to my day today: The New York Times' Lens Blog featured the "Martian Moment in Time" photo that Opportunity took last week in a really nice writeup. I'm so grateful, and still a little surprised, that the folks on the Mars Exploration Rover mission took this idea and ran with it!

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Radar glories in Titan rivers

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/11 04:53 CDT

Wow, this is a cool paper. Here's the gist: the Cassini RADAR team has spotted some river channels on Titan that shine so brightly in radar images, there must be something special going on to explain that brightness.

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Saturn's hexagon recreated in the laboratory

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/04 12:32 CDT | 10 comments

A lot of readers have expressed interest in the origin of Saturn's north polar hexagon. The hexagon is a long-lived pattern in the clouds surrounding Saturn's north pole, which has been observed since the Voyagers passed by in 1980 and 1981.

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Titan and Dione: The same, but different

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/22 05:29 CDT

Here's a new lovely color composition of Titan and Dione captured by Cassini. This one was taken on April 20, 2010; a set of 15 raw images taken of the two moons just showed up on the Cassini raw images website.

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Hey, I'm on APOD today!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/20 04:02 CDT

A big thanks to Bob Nemiroff, editor of NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day website, for picking my composition of a set of Cassini photos of Dione and Titan for today's offering.

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A calming Titan

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/19 03:35 CDT

Usually I like Mondays, but today I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. When I get overwhelmed, I look at pictures from Cassini.

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Dione and Titan

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/12 05:03 CDT

It's axiomatic that as soon as I post about pretty Cassini pictures, another set of pretty photos will appear on the raw images website.

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A feast of pretty pictures from Cassini

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/12 01:28 CDT

Cassini has it almost too easy. Point at anything in the Saturn system and you're guaranteed of a shot that looks, at least, pretty.

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A busy day for Cassini: Dione plus bonus Enceladus and Janus

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/08 12:39 CDT

The Cassini Saturn orbiter just completed its second very close flyby of Saturn's mid-sized iceball moon Dione, and the images from that encounter have been streaming onto the Cassini raw images website this morning.

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Pretty picture: Rhea, rings, and two little moons

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/06 03:07 CDT

Here's a lovely picture whose components came down from Cassini a few days ago.

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