Stories, updates, insights, and original analysis from The Planetary Society.
I love posting animations of Cassini images that I compose from frames grabbed from the mission's raw images website, but they are shoddy compared to the versions that eventually come out from the mission's imaging team.
My inbox was exploding this morning with messages about a tremendously cool animation released this morning by ESA's Mars Express team. It shows Phobos crossing Deimos, in what's known as a
Here's another weird-looking one, though it's less weird from this particular, polar point of view than it is when viewed from the side.
Epimetheus is one of the many small moons of Saturn that are referred to by the Cassini mission team as
Thanks to Mike Malaska for the tip on this one. The image is part of an animation that ends with Rhea transiting Saturn.
This image goodie was produced from the raw images from Cassini's close encounter with Saturn's geyser moon Enceladus yesterday by Gordan Ugarkovic.
Last week, planetary astronomers Anne Verbiscer, Michael Skrutskie, and Doug Hamilton published a paper in Nature succinctly titled
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.
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!
Saturn is surrounded by a crowded family of rings and moons, and two of those moons -- Epimetheus and Janus -- orbit Saturn so close together that it seems as though their different orbital speeds should make them crash into each other.
I've just resurrected a feature on the site that has been lost since our redesign: the
Emily tackles this morning's ESA press conference about Huygens.
I just noticed this picture on the Cassini raw images website. I love these
Here is a gorgeous color mosaic of Hyperion assembled by amateur image processor Mattias Malmer from images from the recent flyby.
I've finally worked my way through all of the Hyperion images that were returned from the last flyby. It's a wonderful data set.
I got an email last night from Anne Verbiscer, whom I had contacted about rounding up some amateur astronomers to help the Cassini mission with some photometric observations of Hyperion.
First, here's a nice shot of Epimetheus, which was taken about a month ago.
Checking the Cassini raw images website, I found quite a few more images of Hyperion this morning. It looks like Cassini had a leisurely flyby of the little moon from roughly 700,000 kilometers' distance.
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.