Archive for the 'Saturn Rings' 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.
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.
We have had our share of global Saturn portraits, but I do believe this is the first taken where the rings are unlit by the sun. An interesting alternate view provided by Gordan Ugarkovic (as usual).
This composite has been kicked around a bunch on unmannedspaceflight.com. Contained within it are two separate images taken by the Cassini mission at nearly the same time but different exposures. Looking at this scene with human eyes, the big difference would likely be that the geysers would not be blown out and would look more like a multiple of gentle hazes spewing upward. The other big difference would be that you were somehow on a mission to Saturn and not browsing the web.
Above are the two original exposures. These were merely combined with a photo editing tool. The geyser haze was blurred in areas to clean out compression artifacts and the color was artistically added by Gordan Ugarkovic. While the color is artificially generated, it does accurately reflect the same overall appearance of most natural light images of Titan.
Prometheus is the small moon that shepherds Saturn’s outer “F” ring and causes those crazy waves in the particles that make up the ring itself. The phenomenon has been the theme of at least 3 different animations here on wanderingspace.net. The image above is what that small moon in those animations looks like from 60,000 km taken by Cassini on Dec 26, 2009.
Recent observations of Saturn’s rings from Cassini reveal some vertical structure to the rings. Shown here are disturbances caused by Daphnis, a small moonlet that orbits within the Keeler Gap of the rings. We have seen much of these kinds of disturbances in the rings from tiny moonlets, but the Saturninan equinox finally provides us with an angle of sunlight that reveals such structures from the long shadows they cast. The tallest shadow seen at right is Daphnis itself.
Some recent posts from Gordan Ugarkovic. The first is just gorgeous, the second featuring Prometheus and Pan in the gaps, the third is also just real pretty and the 4th is two sides of Enceladus. The 2nd and 4th of these images are false color which we publish less often, but these were just too nice to deny.