The last time we saw this reunion was here.
Archive for the 'Saturn' Category
The tiny but very active moon Enceladus is seen here lost within the E-Ring of Saturn. The moon, as many of us know, is quite active with cryo-volcanic geysers littered throughout the ridges of the “tiger stripes” found mostly in the moon’s southern hemisphere. Since most of the ejecta from Enceladus is jettisoned fast enough to escape the tiny moon’s gravity, most the material winds up orbiting Saturn itself and is therefore helping over a very long period of time to form Saturn’s E-Ring. This at least partly helps solve the question of where Saturn’s massive ring structure originates.
Image by Val Klavans.
The long awaited official trailer for “In Saturn’s Rings” has been unleashed. Looking forward to this film for over three years now.
Having followed the activities of a small army of freelance space imagers that lurk in various places on the internet for about 10 years now — it is truly unusual for me to come across images that I know I have not seen before. Michael Benson’s exhibit titled, “Planetfall” at the American Association for the Advancement of Science offers offer fresh views from missions as old as Viking and as new as Cassini. What originally caught my attention was an image of an actively spewing Enceladus that is exposed in both Sun and Saturn shine — a view I have surely seen before, but never so detailed or dramatic. Even more surprising and rare is a new global composite view of Uranus with a complete and continuous ring taken by Voyager almost 30 years ago.
The show ends soon (June 28, 2013) and is located in Washington DC.
This is a raw image of the storm found at the center of Saturn’s hexagonal feature located at it’s northern pole (see below). Be sure to click on it for the high-res.
The image is going to be “officially released” soon, but I don’t know how much better it can get than this. One of the exciting things about this storm is the depth that we are allowed to see into Saturn. There is no other feature on Saturn that allows us to see any further than the cloud tops.
If you follow this blog on any basis, you might be well aware that a good percentage of the imagery is provided by our good flickr friend Gordan Ugarkovic. Here is a bit of what we missed from him in the last 10 months we were locked out.
Titan at the edge of Saturn taken 2011-05-21. Looks unreal. Like Titan was dropped into the scene using Photoshop. A sin I would never commit. See the lesser “official” NASA version released a few months back here.
Keeping with the theme of moons transiting Saturn. Here is Rhea and tiny Epimetheus doing what they do. Taken in 2010-03-24.
Finally, just to change it up… two moons against Titan, another of Saturn’s moons. Pictured above the Titanian cloud-tops is Dione on the left and Rhea on the right.
Space enthusiasts seem to really like shots that have more than one body in the same frame. How about five… or six (if you count the rings of Saturn)? Starting left to right that is Janus, Pandora, Enceladus, Mimas and Rhea.
Thanks again to Gordan Ugarkovic.
Only a true lover of planetary exploration can get excited about an image like this. Titan is definitely one of the most exciting places in the solar system despite it’s almost total lack of discernible details either surface or in cloud structure. So like Uranus and Venus most images of these locales look something like smooth monochromatic tennis balls without the white lines.
Above is a color image of the vortex in more detail. Scientists are still unsure of the process that causes this to occur. However, similar phenomenon have been seen before — most notably on Titan’s parent planet, Saturn.