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Blog Archive


Designing the Cassini Tour

Posted by John Smith on 2009/06/07 12:01 CDT

Each Titan flyby is not a fork in the road, but rather a Los Angeles style cloverleaf in terms of the dizzying number of possible destinations. So how did our current and future plans for the path of the Cassini spacecraft come to be? That's the question Dave Seal put to me since that's my job -- I am a tour designer.

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Canto III: Hints of Equinox

Posted by David Seal on 2009/06/04 06:31 CDT

Saturn is rapidly approaching equinox, where the Sun passes through the ring plane (south-to-north, i.e. the northern vernal equinox), and its ring system (i.e. its great now-gloomy poorly-lit circles of large blocks of water ice) is starting to show some really interesting behavior.

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Posted by David Seal on 2009/06/02 01:58 CDT

David Seal muses on his time as the mission planner for Cassini, and the history behind its name, and astronomy in Rome.

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Welcome to the Solar System, Makemake

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2008/07/15 09:45 CDT

The trans-Neptunian object formerly known as 2005 FY9 now has a name: "Makemake."

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Saturn, Tethys, and Titan

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2008/03/25 12:37 CDT

I thought that today's image release from the Cassini imaging team was exceptionally pretty.

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Antares tours Saturn's rings

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2008/01/04 11:39 CST

Antares dims and brightens as it passes behind the rings as seen from Cassini in this animation.

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A way-cool Cassini picture: rings, Titan, Dione, Prometheus

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2005/10/19 07:12 CDT

I just noticed this picture on the Cassini raw images website. I love these "many worlds" pictures.

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A couple cool raw Cassini pics -- and a break in the data

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2005/07/19 04:56 CDT

I monitor the Cassini website to keep my eye out for cool pictures, and it's usually relatively easy to figure out what the spacecraft is looking at (rings, moon, Saturn, whatever). Sometimes, though, the images can be very confusing.

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A couple of pics from Cassini at periapsis

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2005/06/27 08:20 CDT

Cassini's been in orbit around Saturn for almost exactly a year now, and the mission seems pretty much to have dropped off of the public radar screen. But there's still three years to go on the primary mission, and lots left to do, and I for one am not at all bored.

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