Storm Chasing on Saturn with Cassini
.] - "The sun is slowly rising over Saturn's north pole, exposing an immense six-sided hurricane. The storm, big enough to swallow four Earths, was first spotted by the Voyager missions in the early 1980s. [Cassini
] will be passing directly over the north pole with its cameras pointing down later this month." (previously 1
Enjoy 200,000 images of Saturn, its rings and moons taken by NASA's Cassini
over 8 years compressed into 4 minutes of video.
The wonders of space.
This is a stunning black and white video taken from actual Cassini and Huygens mission footage.
The Cassini team announced a possible cyrovolcano on Titan.
A key difference between this find and cyrovulcanism on Enceladus
is the probable existence of a thousand-meter peak and lobe-shaped flows similar to terrestrial vulcanism. Their video release
explains the evidence with 3-d models of the features.
More speculative, Guillaume Robuchon speculates that Pluto might have liquid water
under an icy surface, assuming it has enough of a rocky core to support heat production through radioactive decay.
This Summer’s Sexiest Images From Saturn.
From a billion miles away, the Cassini spacecraft
continues to send spectacular images of Saturn and its moons. Cassini
has been flying since 1997 and arrived at Saturn in 2004 after flybys of Earth, Venus and Jupiter. Its mission was originally slated to end in 2008, but it got its first 27 month extension to witness Saturn’s equinox. This year, it was given another life extension until 2017
to keep exploring until Saturn’s northern hemisphere summer solstice. [previously
] [more inside]
Kraken Mare lake
on Saturn's largest moon Titan was finally located and photographed
. It's the first photo of a lake of liquid on another planetary body.
Cassini Reveals New Ring Quirks, Shadows During Saturn Equinox.
"It's like putting on 3-D glasses and seeing the third dimension for the first time," said Bob Pappalardo, Cassini project scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "This is among the most important events Cassini has shown us." Latest press images.
on Saturn's moon Enceladus.
Here's hoping space tourism can pick up the pace a little.
Cassini Flies by Tethys and Hyperion,
and the photos so far have been awesome
. I especially want to point out this fascinating view
, which, if you look at it closely
, reveals what appears to be a string of small impact craters, in a straight line over older terrain. What kind of meteor impact could have produced such an excellent formation of craters? Hyperion photos are coming. (Kokogiak's got backup
in case the JRUNS strike.)
Rocks Among the Rings.
The Planetary Society's Emily Lakdawalla has compiled some of the loveliest imagery of Saturn's ring-and-moon system from Cassini
. More on Saturn from the Planetary Society here.
Also see the Cassini at Saturn photoset
, from our very own kokogiak, and watch for updates on the latest Enceladus flyby
It worked! Huygens has successfully landed on Saturn's moon Titan and the Cassini orbiter is sending good data back to Earth as I type.
Isn't it amazing how we can take a probe the size of a compact car, send it on a 7 year journey in the most inhospitable environment imaginable, deploy a sub-probe that has been dormant for that entire time and land it where we had planned on another solar body so far away that it takes 67 minutes to get a signal back and forth. Exploration and research has never been so cool.
European Space Agency's Huygens Probe Ready for Spectacular Mission to Titan
Mission managers for the European Space Agency's Huygens probe said the spacecraft is on course for its descent to Saturn's mysterious moon Titan on Friday, Jan. 14. The probe, which detached from NASA's Cassini orbiter last month
, will be the first object to explore on-site the unique environment of Titan
, whose chemistry is thought to be very similar to that of early Earth, before life formed. The data gathered during the probe's 2 1/2 hour descent through Titan's atmosphere will be transmitted from the probe to the Cassini orbiter and then back to Earth.
Make sure to stay tuned in this morning for updates.
" It was beyond description, really, it was mind-blowing," she said. "I'm surprised at how surprised I am at the beauty and the clarity of these images. They are shocking to me."
"Standard orbit, aye, sir."
Following a nail-biting ring-plane crossing and 96-minute engine burn, Cassini has arrived
, and is now in orbit around Saturn, 84 light-minutes away, sending in the first closeup pictures of the planet's rings
. Also see the Planetary Society's details on the Orbit Insertion
, Spaceflight Now's mission updates in weblog-like format
, and raw images from the spacecraft
as they come. Kudos, JPL! (Aside: the press has yet to tire of Lord of the Rings
The Solar System Simulator
to simulate - as realistically as possible - what one would actually see from any point in the Solar System. The software looks up the positions of the Sun, planets and satellites from ephemeris files developed here at JPL, as well as star positions and colors from a variety of stellar databasees, and uses special-purpose renderers to draw a color scene. Texture maps for each of the planets and physical models for planetary rings have been derived (in most cases) from scientific data collected by various JPL spacecraft.' Far too complicated for me to even begin to understand, still I've always wondered what Saturn looks like
NASA proposes visit to Saturn's moons
via blimp. Native Titans debunk UFO as weather balloon. More space balloons here.
"clouds and even rain showers seem to have been spotted on Titan, Saturn's largest moon.
Scientists have already labeled Titan a hot spot in the search for extraterrestrial life, and the new work adds to that enthusiasm." You bet it does.