Cassini goodies: Telesto, Janus, Prometheus, Pandora, F ring
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla
01-09-2009 12:40 CDT
As I mentioned yesterday, the Cassini raw images website has been full of goodies lately. Here's a sample.
(First, a quick update on the Station fire: Mount Wilson is still unscathed, and firefighters predict today will be a better day. Concern is abating.)
My favorite recent set of images was targeted at Janus. Take a look at this animation and see if you can figure out what's going on before you read any further:Did you figure it out? As the sequence starts, Janus is in eclipse -- it's in the shadow of Saturn's rings. But as Cassini watched, a gap in Saturn's rings crossed the moon, making a broad stripe of sunlight that moved from pole to pole. The gap appeared to have one sharp edge and one more transparent edge. I don't know which gap in the rings that was -- could have been the Keeler gap, maybe. I think I enjoy this animation especially because it's sort of like the evil alternate universe version of one of my favorite image series from the Voyager Saturn encounter: Recently Cassini also had a nice close look at Telesto, the trailing companion to Tethys. These Lagrangian moons look very very dusty; the Lagrange points of orbits must be a spot that collects Saturn's versions of dust bunnies. The image compliments nicely an earlier one of Telesto, which shows primarily the trailing hemisphere. Here's one more nice recent animation, showing the gores in the F ring created by Prometheus traveling around the ring ansa. Saturn is such a pretty place!
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