Archive for the 'Titan' Category
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.
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.
Titan and friends from recent official Cassini mission releases.
Shown with Saturn
Shown with Dione against a Saturn and rings nearly edge-on in the background. Looks like a NASA re-interpretation of this image.
With Tethys against more edge-on rings.
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We may have a new best of Cassini shots with this one. The color composite was executed by Ian Regan who was the creator of another Cassini favorite here at wanderingspace.
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.
This is so nice, but I am furious that I didn’t get to design this. This is Information design at it’s best naturally by National Geographic. You can see 50 years of robotic planetary exploration at a glance. It even includes failed missions represented by darker desaturated lines. As far as I can tell the cream colored lines are US and the red ones are Soviet. Interesting to see how many of those lines go dark around Mars.
Now where does one purchase such a thing? Perhaps this month’s issue of NG? Here is the link to it on their site complete with zoom viewer and them some kind samaritan posted a hires version to flickr.
Nice example of science meets Hollywood.
Emily Lakdawalla recently posted some images from the Cassini raw image database and I noticed that she had posted 2 similar images taken the same day. One had Saturn’s disc over exposed and the other had Saturn exposed much better with the rings too dark and lacking detail. These crescent images often make it difficult for Cassini’s cameras to get a single exposure with both elements with proper exposure because Saturn’s disk is so much brighter than the back-lit rings.
So i retrieved the images from the same day, recompiled them, did a little manual color balancing based on one of Gordan Ugarkovic’s recent crescent Saturn images and finally merged the two elements together. So, in reality the rings were taken at a slightly different time than Saturn’s disc was. However, since Cassini takes it’s color images one filter at a time (red, green and then blue), that is really true of any color image compiled from the mission database.
Also visible in the image is a small crescent Tethys and Titan’s shadow on the cloud tops.