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Stories, updates, insights, and original analysis from The Planetary Society.

Dione encounter today

Cassini is already on its way in to a close, 500-kilometer encounter with Dione -- it's less than four hours away now, at 17:52 UTC.

Hyperion in color

Here is a gorgeous color mosaic of Hyperion assembled by amateur image processor Mattias Malmer from images from the recent flyby.

A piece of a new picture from Hayabusa

The Hayabusa mission has proven to be a bit of a tease -- they were releasing lots of images to the public as they approached asteroid Itokawa, but once they arrived, the image releases shut down entirely. There is finally a little postage stamp of an image captured by Hayabusa at

Amazing views of Hyperion

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.

An animation of Itokawa from Hayabusa

This lovely animation of Itokawa represents 20 individual images taken between 18:10 on September 5 and 00:30 on September 6, from a distance of less than 700 kilometers away.

A little more Hyperion

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.

A photo of MESSENGER

I was browsing the MESSENGER website just now, and found a neat photo. It's a picture of MESSENGER as seen from Earth when it flew by yesterday.

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

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.

Deep Impact Data Surprises Scientists

When Deep Impact crashed into the nucleus of Tempel 1 at 23,000 miles per hour on July 4, it sent a huge, bright cloud of stuff upward and outward from the comet, providing a spectacular image that is already assured a place in the space history books, and may well be seared into the brains of all those who watched the event.

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