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Blog Archive


Voyager Mission Status Bulletins: Jupiter and Saturn

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/09/24 01:27 CDT

Last week I posted a stack of Voyager Mission Status Bulletins, which were once the main resource for space enthusiasts to follow the dramatic events and photos of an in-flight space mission.

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Decoding a Titan crater

Posted by Emily Martin on 2010/08/16 01:42 CDT

In response to Emily's entry about finally getting her hands on a subscription to the planetary science journal Icarus, I thought I would report on an article from the most recent issue: Geology of the Selk crater region on Titan from Cassini VIMS observations, by Jason Soderblom and 11 other scientists.

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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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Titan's rivers are square

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/06/11 01:07 CDT

There's a new "planetary gromorphology image of the month" posted at the International Association of Geomorphologists' Planetary Geomorphology Working Group page, and it's a cool post about the shapes of the river networks on Titan.

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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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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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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 trio of pretty Cassini pics

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/19 02:19 CDT

It's been a little while since I posted any Cassini pictures just because they were pretty, so here's a few recent ones, produced by amateurs from the images available on the Cassini raw images website.

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Titan: Callisto with weather

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/16 05:18 CDT | 2 comments

It's the second time I've posted with this provocative title. This time, it's in response to a new paper published last week in Science.

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Hooray! Cassini's tour has been extended for SEVEN MORE YEARS!

Posted by Emily LakdawallaJohn Spencer on 2010/02/03 01:12 CST

NASA has just announced that once Cassini's Equinox Mission runs out in June of this year, they will extend it a further seven more years, long enough for the spacecraft to see Saturn through its solstice!!

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Cassini VIMS sees the long-awaited glint off a Titan lake

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/17 04:28 CST

The Cassini mission announced today the first observation of a specular reflection off of a lake on Titan. A specular reflection is a mirror-like flash, and you only get one when you have a mirror-like surface -- very, very smooth.

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Changes in Titan's southern lakes

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/10/06 05:19 CDT

Today's science press release out of the Division of Planetary Sciences meeting concerns changes in lakes near Titan's south pole observed during Cassini's mission. In brief, repeat Cassini RADAR observations of the same spots during different Titan flybys turned up places where there appeared to be dark lakes in earlier images and dry lakes in later images.

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Cassini RADAR continues to gaze at Titan

Posted by Jani Radebaugh on 2009/07/27 07:08 CDT

The Cassini spacecraft made its 59th flyby of Titan, Saturn's largest moon, on Friday, July 24, and in the last few hours we have received images from the RADAR instrument in SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) mode.

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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 II: Titan's Atmosphere and the Solar Cycle

Posted by David Seal on 2009/06/03 04:44 CDT

David Seal explains the complications for Cassini coming from Titan's atmosphere and Solar Cycle.

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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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