All the Moons Are Balloons
June 14, 2011 2:04 PM   Subscribe

All those little white flecks are cosmic rays - normally a real pain to astronomers. But there, they were just beautiful. An expression of the environment Cassini is in, and what it really sees each time it takes an image.
posted by edd at 2:14 PM on June 14, 2011

Thank you.
posted by hoople at 2:21 PM on June 14, 2011

This is wonderful.
posted by brundlefly at 2:57 PM on June 14, 2011

Haunting. Love it.
posted by sleepcrime at 3:02 PM on June 14, 2011

So beautiful.
posted by Bookhouse at 3:17 PM on June 14, 2011

Shh... Nobody tell Joe Biden how much that cost to make.

Also: that's fucking sweet!
posted by symbioid at 3:30 PM on June 14, 2011

Space noob question: why are the Cassini images usually in black and white? The Imaging Science Subsystem on board can capture visible light, IR and UV, so what is the technical reason for not making RGB images? Useless for scientific purpose? Bandwith? Storage? Limitations of 1995-era digital imaging? The Cassini ISS can do colour (here for instance) but such images are quite rare. I'm just curious (even in B&W these are amazing pictures).
posted by elgilito at 4:02 PM on June 14, 2011

Cassini can only make one greyscale image with one filter at a time; to get a color image it has to make three separate images with different filters. This doesn't work during a fast flyby and is just plain a pain in the rear the rest of the time and doesn't generally convey the maximum amount of scientifically useful information. So those postcard pictures are generally only made when the Cassini team decides to make a postcard.
posted by localroger at 4:07 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Viewing space in motion is always more awe-inspiring than still images.
posted by bwg at 5:35 PM on June 14, 2011

This is brilliant.
posted by perilous at 6:03 PM on June 14, 2011

The Moon animation is also quite hypnotic. I found myself drawn to a feature I have written about in a story that's been in the works for a long time. I think the fictional Josh Meier would indeed be quite happy with the villa I wrote him on the slopes of the Jura Mountains facing the Bay of Rainbows. In the animation you can really see the play of light in that area in a way I could only imagine from my Rand McNally Map of the Moon.
posted by localroger at 6:13 PM on June 14, 2011

I'm glad to see I'm not the only person obsessed with Saturn and Cassini. Spectacular.
posted by Apropos of Something at 7:27 PM on June 14, 2011

This will blow your mind
posted by spicynuts at 8:52 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

posted by carsonb at 9:16 PM on June 14, 2011

I liked it, but I think I would have liked it more with more Saturn and less video editing room.
posted by DU at 10:23 AM on June 15, 2011

One of my greatest regrets at being a puny human (my choice, right?) is that I will never be able to witness the majesty of other worlds firsthand. This video just fuels an inexplicable jealousy that's directed towards nothing I can comprehend.
posted by Turkey Glue at 3:31 PM on June 15, 2011

Very cool!
posted by suzy e. at 3:31 PM on June 18, 2011

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