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Emily LakdawallaMay 25, 2016

New work with 35-year-old data: Voyagers at Ganymede and Saturn

The Voyager data set is a gift to Earth that keeps on giving. This week, I've seen three great new images processed from this old data set. The first one was made by Ian Regan at my request. I pointed him to this classic view from Voyager 2, and asked him to make one that was just a bit closer to true color. Here is his result. I love it when moons make cameos in planet portraits.

Saturn and its moons from Voyager 2

NASA / JPL / Ian Regan

Saturn and its moons from Voyager 2
Voyager 2 captured the images for this view of Saturn on July 12, 1981. Three moons are visible: Rhea below the disk, and Tethys and Enceladus on the disk. Tethys' shadow falls on the planet. The image was taken on the same day as this more garish view that was released by NASA.

Another awesome new product this week was made by Bjorn Jonsson. He's been working with the Voyager 1 Ganymede flyby data set, trying to process a global view, for some time. He recently had a breakthrough in repairing several crucial frames that were smeared when the Voyager scan platform moved while the photo was being captured, as he explains here.

Huge color Voyager 1 Ganymede mosaic

NASA / JPL / Bjorn Jonsson

Huge color Voyager 1 Ganymede mosaic
The 17 frames worth of source images were obtained by Voyager 1 on March 5, 1979 over a period of about 2 hours. During these 2 hours Voyager 1's distance from Ganymede dropped from 305,000 to 180,000 km.

Bjorn posting his Ganymede mosaic inspired Justin Cowart to share some work he's been doing on the other Voyager's Ganymede mosaics. Here's a view centered on Osiris crater. The crater is neat, but my favorite part of the image is below and to the left of it, where the slanting sunset light outlines fascinating topography around a different crater. There's another related mosaic at Justin's Flickr page.

Voyager 2 Ganymede mosaic: Osiris crater

NASA / JPL / Justin Cowart

Voyager 2 Ganymede mosaic: Osiris crater
19 frame mosaic of Ganymede taken during Voyager 2's flyby of the moon on July 9, 1979. This image is centered on the bright Osiris Crater and surrounding ejecta deposits.

Read more: Jupiter's moons, pretty pictures, data art (was amateur image processing), Ganymede, Voyager 1 and 2, Saturn's moons, Saturn

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Emily Lakdawalla

Solar System Specialist for The Planetary Society
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