Stories, updates, insights, and original analysis from The Planetary Society.
Opportunity's poking at Marquette Island; Cassini's catching dancing moons
Since tomorrow's class is going to be on playing with raw images from the rovers and Cassini, I've been playing with recent raw images from the rovers and Cassini! I just thought I'd share a couple of the fun items I've been working with.
Four moons and a ring
Thanks to Mike Malaska for the tip on this one. The image is part of an animation that ends with Rhea transiting Saturn.
Fun Friday photo: Titan and Rhea
Cassini recently captured a series of images documenting Rhea passing behind Titan.
What "phase angle" means
As is probably obvious by now, I love playing with spacecraft image data. I am always looking for excuses to dive into space image archives to unearth images of stuff in space that haven't really been seen by very many people before.
Rhea, Enceladus, Mimas, and Tethys, oh my!
With the last Titan flyby on October 12, Cassini came back to an orbit that's nearly in the equatorial plane, and immediately rewarded us with some fine views of several of the icy moons. Here are a bunch of images of those moons.
Welcome to the Solar System, Makemake
The trans-Neptunian object formerly known as 2005 FY9 now has a name:
Showing off Saturn's moons
There was a press release from the Cassini mission today about a pile of papers (14 of them!) being published in the journal Icarus about Saturn's icy moons. I haven't had time to read more than the overview article yet, but I wanted to come up with a graphic for an overview of Saturn's moons, and I couldn't resist delving into the massive database of Cassini images to produce something new
Mimas, Dione, Rhea
There's been quite a lot of Mars on this page for the last week; it's time to remind ourselves that there are other places besides Mars in the solar system.
LPSC: Tuesday: Volcanism and tectonism on Saturn's satellites
I received this report on the Tuesday afternoon special session on volcanism and tectonism on Saturn's satellites from Anne Verbiscer, an astronomer from the University of Virginia who I first met at the Division of Planetary Sciences meeting in 2005.
Many, many views of Saturn's moons
Another thing I've been trying to catch up on is the daily imaging activities of Cassini, but that, too, has been tough because Cassini has been taking so dang many pictures!
Animation from Cassini's approach to Dione
The images from Cassini's Dione encounter yesterday have started coming back, and there is a really cool set of 16 pictures of Dione and Rhea.
Cassini tour page revised
Cassini mission planner Dave Seal just gave me the latest reference trajectory for Cassini, so I've gone through and updated the flyby altitudes on the Cassini tour page.
A couple of pics from Cassini at periapsis
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.