I,ve been a very long time without posting here unfortunately, but I want to thank you very much, Carolyn, as well as the rest of the CICLOPS team for sharing with us all those images and letting us dream with worlds so fascinating, from ringed Saturn to distant Phoebe and especially Enceladus and Titan. Your last entry has been especially touching to me.
The next day to Cassini's transformation in a myth, I took the telescope to watch Saturn as a homage to it. The planet was there, girdled with its rings, and of its moons just Titan was visible. Very different to what it was before Cassini's arrival but at the same time it had not changed at all, alone again.
Cassini is gone and all that remains is Huygens somewhere at Adiri, in Titan, but her legacy will endure and -hopefully- will inspirate new generations to boldly go where no other has gone before, to unlock the mysteries of the Universe.
Kudos to everyone who has made this adventure possible .
I've been a long time without posting here, but thank you sincerely, Dr. Porco for sharing your love of space exploration with us. May the remaining years of the Cassini mission be so fruitful and full of exciting discoveries as the previous ones.
You know, me thought it was difficult after so many great images you'd be able to cause a jaw-dropping, but you've caused that twice in the last weeks: first with that amazing view of Saturn seen from above and last with this kind encore of "In Saturn's Shadow".
Keep this stuff coming... we'll miss it within four years.
Awesome job, CICLOPS!. Some years ago, I commented I hoped Cassini would spot rainfall on Titan's equator as spring advanced there and I'm glad to see I wasn't wrong.
As Carolyn says, the best is still to come; I'm quite sure during next years the clouds on Titan's north pole will vanish, clouds will appear on the satellite's south pole, and that the north pole seas will start to lose liquid due to weather conditions.
I find difficult that being a chunk of ice or a meteorite; if you look it closely it has a kind of tail and, assuming the object has left that tail, it does not seem as if it was coming from Enceladus.
Superb image with so many shadows; it's fun to see how Saturn's happiness is becoming Saturn's sadness as the shadows of the rings are moving into southern hemisphere, perhaps because this is the final (and longest) part of the mission and Saturn will miss Cassini.
How are things going in Saturn?. Have the remaining bluish hues of northen hemisphere disappeared and are beginning to appear on southern hemisphere?
Well done!. I tip my hat to you for a new succesful Enceladus flyby and Cassini back to work. Raw images are nothing less than amazing, especially the #1 that looks as Enceladus was a huge cosmic egg and something was cracking it from the inside. Keep up the good work!.
According to Cassini's web page, if everything goes fine she should be ready again just in time for the next Enceladus flyby -day 30 (tuesday, by the way) of this month-
100% with stowaway -except that the "Latest Sight" was my lunch's companion, not my breakfast's one. I even remember CICLOPS *never* failed to release the daily image; just one time (May 2006) it wasn't released at the usual hour, but the cause -probably- was cosmic ray-induced glitch on Cassini (http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/news/significantevents/sigevent20060505/)
Hope this is just temporal; I always came here early in the morning (for you) and very often I left at least a vote.
I've the audio recording you mention and it makes me to imagine mighty lightning strikes falling into the never-ending Jovian atmosphere.
As a side note, after reading your comment, I've searched for lightning in Jupiter, and both Galileo and Cassini imaged also flashes on Jupiter's night side.
Well done!. I've to tip (again!) my hat to you. Another new discover to add to Cassini's list -BTW, were lightnings seen in jovian planets before (read: Jupiter), or is Cassini the first probe to image them?-. Now, it's time for artists to imagine how would be a storm under ringshine.
This image has been today's APOD, and no doubt you've done a truly impressive job removing cosmic ray hits and the like. The hard work behind the scenes to create views so impressive as this one makes you even more worth of credit; however, after nearly six years of impressive images from Saturn I'm not saying anything new.
Truly spectacular: this image deserves to be one of the (very) best you've released this year. Thanks, CICLOPS.
At the very first (Voyagers), we had a moon that looked like the "Death Star". Now, with Cassini the Death Star has become Pacman's land; it seems Mimas "loves" the best decade ever -the 80's-.
Jokes apart, this is one of the reasons why to have a Solstice mission: to continue unlocking the many secrets the saturnian system has. As sustayne and NeKto, can't wait to see what surprising explanation you'll have to explain that. Excellent work and keep it up!.
I remember to have seen this in Cassini's raw images section. I expected you'd make a movie -as those you released last month-, but these color images are as impressive as them. Excellent work as usual; with a bit of imagination, one could think of the second Death Star moving behind Endor (the first one is Mimas)
A GREAT -in all senses- image. And the best things are: 1) try to find Tethys' shadow, 2) compare with earlier images to see how has been disappearing Saturn's blues. Keep up the good work! (and, by the way, hope to see soon a Voyager-like Cassini's picture of Saturn)
Please, don't be angered for sending you the link; it was to show it to other members of Sector6 -and, of course, you're the scientists; you know where to point the cameras-
It will be a pleasure to see the your mosaic -the "official" one-. No doubt you'll impress us as have done so many times during these years.
Thanks, Carolyn!. Now, I've the ideas much clear.
For many years -since the first time I saw it through a telescope- I was of Titan. You know, seeing that tiny star that accompanied Saturn and wondering and attempting to imagine what could exist below its orange haze.
Cassini arrived at Saturn and we not only know what exists below Titan's haze but also have a world that could have been imagined by a sci-fi writer and that surely has -perhaps living- surprises inside: Enceladus.
Two world so interesting and just one future flagship...it's a pity.
As a side note, check out this impressive mosaic. Enceladus' machinery working at full power. What a sight: http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap091124.html
High quality comments, keep them coming. As a side note, it's amazing how a body so small as Enceladus is so active while Tethys which is certainly more massive is dead, or at least very nearly so. Perhaps its low density compared with the relatively high density of Enceladus has something to tell?
Magnificent and worth of a full view (not just the illuminated side). As the one you released last friday (Shadow South of Another, http://ciclops.org/view/5815/Shadow_South_of_Another) this one transmits the feeling of something we've seen before... but with much better eyes.
It's a pity that: 1) Titan's shadow is so off-center and 2) not to have caught it when Cassini was in front of the planet. Anyway, good work!. This is what we were waiting for since the Equinox mission was announced.
Simply put, there're no words to describe the beauty of this image. I believed that after enjoying images as this one: http://ciclops.org/view/5155/Saturn_Four_Years_On or this other: http://ciclops.org/view/3192/On_the_Final_Frontier -to cite just two-, it would be difficult to create something that rivalled in beauty to them... and you've done it again. Thanks for this great image and I hope there will be a "Solstice Mission" to have more discoveries from Saturn and epic images as this one.
I have to agree with PeterDarmady, and of course as expected, I'm glad to see there're so many people thinking as me or him. People that make US that so-loved country despite someone as GWB, people thanks to which there's something as NASA.
And as him, my heroes were (and are) people as Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan (I remembered his death made me to cry and to know of that JUST the day I borrowed from the library "A Pale Blue Dot"), and of course Carolyn Porco and many others as them.
I agree. Thanks for bringing us these hot -in both senses- images
Simply put, amazing. Not only the geometry, but also to see stars through t he rings. And if Tethys' shadow was in the middle of the rings would be even more impressive.
Although this has not much to see with Saturn, I'd be pleased if you asked me about this: we know asteroid belts as appear on sci-fi movies, etc. are innacurately represented and perhaps the closest thing to them would be Saturn's rings or the like.
But what about a protoplanetary disk?. Could it look like as for example the asteroid field of "The Empire Strikes Back"?. Thanks in advance.
What I like of this image is how -thanks to you and the good people that manages the Cassini mission- we've seen the shadows disappearing from Saturn's northern hemisphere and the changing from winter/summer to spring/"fall" during these five years (it's like Enterprise's original mission in ST: TOS: "five years boldly seeing what no others have seen before").
You know, you have to create a color view of Saturn that looks like those good ol' Voyager images. I can't wait to see the progress of imaging technology between Voyager's vidicons and Cassini's CCDs.
As a final note, because I agree to discuss this is pointless, let's assume there's a Moon-sized starship in orbit around Saturn, and let's assume is pitch black (so that it absorbs all sunlight and cannot be directly seen) and needle-shaped. That "cloaking device" is not quite good, since the "ship" can be seen projected over the rings. And it could easily be seen when it passes in front of Saturn's disk, because even on a sync. orbit around Saturn it would pass over the planet.
Another problem is that if it was so close to the ring system, its huge mass -even if it was hollow- would disturb the ring system, even if it was far from it and surely that also could be seen from Earth. Do I have to follow?
Sorry, I meant to say: "No amateur astronomer has seen it".
Of course that there is a 2000 mile long spacecraft in Saturn. And the "Men in Black" are so efficient that no amateur astronomer (because something SO big should be seen with amateur telescopes), and despite its size does not disturb Saturn rings... come on.
Excellent image. The best is to see how the shadows of both Saturn and Tethys run parallel one to each other.
After this one, this other is a must, even more than usually: http://ciclops.org/view/2563/Ring_World
Excellent work!. In a comment I made a few months ago, I remembered to suggest to search the rings for shadows that could be caused by small, undetected moonlets. Although undoubtely you had that idea much before than me, I like to see how that worked.
On its sense, quite beautiful. Have you thought on making a movie of Titan rotating -but in full phase, unlike a release of a few years ago in which we saw a rotating crescent Titan-?. No doubt it would be impressive.
Actually, a few months ago CICLOPS released an image in which Mimas appeared being eclipsed by Saturn's rings: http://ciclops.org/view/5178/Shadow_Cap
Really interesting image as usual on you. By the way, have you thought to make a movie of the rings eclipsing a moon similar to this one: http://ciclops.org/view/5262/Darkness_Falls_on_Rhea ?. No doubt it would be a sight to see.
:) With the due honours, I salute all the brave crewmen of the starship USS Enterprise. Although I've some trouble with the money I'll try to go to see the movie because of you at CICLOPS; I recognize I love Star Trek TOS -the one I best know-, followed by The Next Generation.
Amazingly beautiful; it has nothing to envide that superb "Titan's Halo" (http://ciclops.org/view/1086/Titans_Halo); it reminds me a lot this Voyager image: http://ciclops.org/view/3153/Night_side_of_Titan
A very fine selection. I'd have added, however, that magnificent mosaic of Jupiter you took during the Jupiter flyby; if Galileo would have been impressed by knowing what actually were those three circles he saw through his telescope, no less by the majesty of Jupiter
Very interesting image. It's also quite interesting to compare the basin that dominates this view of Dione with Tethys' huge crater Odysseus (for example, note how Odysseus seems to lack the internal ring Dione's basin has)
Thanks again. It's a pity; I hope we'll see at least the ones of any other Saturn's largest moons.
Anyway, isn't even the possibility of seeing a partial transit of the shadow?. Sure even that would be quite dramatic
One of the most dramatic and stunning movies you're ever released. Can't wait to see Titan's shadow doing that.
Another option could be to consider "moonlets" those bodies that have cleared (or mostly cleared) their orbits and "ringlets" those embedded within the rings -I believe that has been suggested before-. But still so, the variety of celestial bodies defies any attempt of classifing them, and that without accounting for what may exist beyond our solar system -some of that hopefully will be find by the Kepler mission-
I think if CICLOPS had to name *all* the moonlets that orbit Saturn, there would not be enough mythological names for them. Perhaps one way to name them could be to do that just to those that seem to be durable over largue timescales (let's say centuries) and the others using just numbers or alike.
The problem is, of course, how to define what's a moon and a moonlet, and I suspect it's not so "easy" as was to name a planet.
This should have gone in first place: A fine job!. I tip my hat again to you for sharing with us these discoveries and making us to imagine places so both alien and familiar as Titan and join libbydaddy in the congratulations.
It will be interesting to see what happens with titanian weather during equinox and (i hope) solstice; we may have *surprises*. Keep up the good work!
Great image. The more the time passes, the more I'm sure the bluish color of Saturn's northen hemisphere is caused not only due to Rayleigh scattering, but also by chemistry going up there and that we'll see blues on Saturn's southern hemisphere after equinox. Only time will tell what happens.
It's a pity Cassini was not flying-by Titan when that storm was doing its job -it would be a really interesting and amazing view-. If during equinox storms become more frequent and also appear in the ecuatorial regions, as I suspect, perhaps Cassini will be lucky enough to catch one. And if that occurs during a flyby...well.
Very interesting image, as it shows how the rings are not actually solid objects and that kind of occultations may be used to probe the internal structure of the ring system; it would be interesting to see the light curve.
Guess the Rebels will have their base at Titan, so we'll see soon X-Wing and Y-wing fighters. :). Fantastic image as usual; it reminds me a similar image of 2005 in which appeared Enceladus over the rings.
Sorry, I forgot this: hope during Equinox you'll release a "Voyager Redux" of this image... but taken with Cassini's cameras. Beyond its beauty, it will be very interesting to compare the progress between Voyager's vidicons and Cassini's CCDs.
A great classic. Until Cassini's arrival to Saturn, this was the most representative Saturn's image, and I'm quite sure to see this image when I was a child was the reason that made me to love astronomy.
It's really interesting to see how much play can give gravity. Not just creating the rings, but also modeling it with largue, heterogeneus distributions of mass and so.
As a side note, the Cassini website has a new face. Looks nice, but being so used to the "classical" site it's not difficult to get lost. Check out:
Awesome stuff, especially "A Tectonic Feast", and "Enceladus' Jets". If it wasn't for Titan, Enceladus would be the hottest place of the Saturnian system. It has nearly everything: a -really possible- subsurface ocean, geological activity, organic molecules in the plumes...how many cool things in a world so small.
Certainly amazing and captivating. This is one of these pictures to show to those who wonder why stars aren't visible on most space images; it would be interesting to know what exposure was needed to capture the stars.
Also, it's surprising how Cassini has managed to take that shot despite moving so fast; that's certainly a marksman' shot.
Here's another cool example of perspective at work; Mimas' orbit has a very little inclination over Saturn's equator (and beyond the F-ring) but in this one that seems not to occur:
I really like those images taken with the NAC. No matter most of them are B-W; the way it toys with the perspective more than compensates that. Just remember those images of moon conjunctions taken roughly three years ago, when Caasini's orbit was quite close to Saturn's equator. Hope to see more of them!.
Yet even another dramatic image from Cassini's NAC. It looks as Mimas and Prometheus were over the rings and at the same distance.
Sorry, I forgot this: one way to confirm that would be measurements of Enceladus' gravity field in order to look for a subsurface ocean as is been doing for Titan (flybys T11, T22, T33, T38, and T45).
Also read the Scientific American article (the online version) and totally agree with NeKto.
Check out (if you haven't done it): http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/news/features/feature20081126.cfm
If it's confirmed, there's another target for astrobiology with level 1 priority.
Simply put, SUPERB. This is my favourite skeet-shot of all those you've released.
It's a pity there's nothing in the bottom of the stripes -or at least within Cassini's resolution-; I expected to see there (most likely dark) vents that would be the source of the plumes. Thus, perhaps, those vents are very small and numerous -just a few meters-.
Anyway, great job!. Now to wait to see what reveals analysis of data collected by Cassini.
One of the very best Enceladus images ever released.
Besides the rugged terrain, what amazes me of that moon is the lack (or nearly so) of largue -say on the order of 25-50 kilometers- craters. Put together with the ridges, and we'll possibly get Enceladus' crust is relatively thin; I'm even sure that in the past some part of Enceladus' surface has been liquid. So many to wonder for a world so small; imagine (as well as other worlds such as Io or Titan) how would have enjoyed this stuff planetologists of the pre-space age era as G. Kuiper.
Check out the CHARM presentation about Enceladus (PDF file!) at:
One of the larguest star-forming complexes of our galaxy posing for Cassini. Who could have the DARK skies she has...and be able to see every point of the celestial sphere without virtually obstacles of any kind.
"Over the Rings and Far Away" :). It's really fun to compare this magical image with this other: http://ciclops.org/view/722/Panoramic_Rings and see how different look the ring system depending of where you're.
Great image. I especially like the "grainy" texture of the image; unless it's noise from the CCD, it looks as if the rings were nearly to be resolved into the many boulders that form them.
During any of her orbits, will be Cassini so close to the rings that she will be able to resolve them using their cameras?
Finally a Titan image. If you allow me this comparison, it resembles me a game of roughly sixteen years ago named "Star Control II". There, you had to explore this sector of the galaxy including of course planets and moons. One of them was Titan and looked very similar to this image.
Weeeeell done!!. Although the image is a bit "corrupted", it's a really tantalizing one. Congratulations to CICLOPS as well -of course- to the Nav team for having made this possible despite it was challenging (read the T46 PDF to see the reasons in: http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/products/pdfs/20081103_titan_mission_description.pdf)
100% with stowaway; while resolution will not be so high as the august flyby, the images surely will be,least to say, breathtaking. Have a good Enceladus flyby and a good Sahmain...and be prepared a Titan flyby just four days after.
As a side note, it seems for me the now fading blue hues could be caused by chemical processes. Perhaps as temperature diminishes due to the shadow of the rings being projected over Saturn's northern hemisphere methane condensates as occurs in Uranus and Neptune thus taking the same blue can be seen in Neptune. As spring is closing and temperature rises again when the shadows of the rings recedes, methane condensates disappear and the classical salmon hues return to Saturn's northern hemisphere.
It's just an idea that surely has been suggested before, but just wanted to comment it.
Amazing, as most color pics; Saturn starts to resemble the one imaged by Voyagers.
Sorry, I forgot this: see also the two VIMS views: http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/images/image-details.cfm?imageID=3266 and
The perfect regularity of the hexagon is truly breathtaking; it's certainly impressive how nature does not limit to curves when it has to create regular patterns.
Least to say, amazing; I remember to have seen this image months ago on the raw images section of the website. It impressed me a lot, but this face-on view is even more impressive; looks as you were falling there. Good work.
I agree; truly impressive that canyon. It's not Tethys' Ithaca Chasma, but still it's awesome. How deep and largue is? (by the way, I would not be surprised if it's discovered it was in the past a plume source)
As a side note, it's interesting to notice the subtle hues of Saturn's northern hemisphere; it's not just hot hues replacing cool ones from south to north, notice the pink band near the top of the image.
"Worlds of the Cassini-Huygens Mission: Reigns of Gas and Ice".
Fantastic image as usual. Now to wait until tomorrow to see if everything has gone well with that hair-rising Enceladus flyby.
Excellent work!. Another great milestone for that mythical spacecraft that's Cassini. This day of nerves wondering if everything had gone well has been rewarded. Now, it's time to analyze those hot data coming from a world so cool.
Navigators, set a new course to Enceladus, so the CICLOPS team can practice skeet-shooting the last day of this month :)
Thank you for this image. It's really curious how, as you comment above, the blue-green blues of false-color images disappear and the real-looking Enceladus looks nearly white and colorless; I believed it was the typical B-W image until I took a look at the caption and saw it's a true color one.
Why cannot be probes equipped with videocameras?. (after all, the heart of a videocamera is a CCD). Perhaps because to transmit to Earth a video -instead of fixed images- would be time consuming, since a video "weighs" more than an image?
To rulesfor: Here's what one gets when combining images taken with other filters. They're both familiar and alien:
Thanks for letting me know. And I totally agree with NeKto; it's really a pleasure to read your comments. Space explorations needs more people with your skills, so people would see how the universe has so many and exciting things worth to study and discover and it does not stop in just a big picture.
One question about the Roche limit: imagine a body that is still forming and when that's not finished yet one forms close to it, so when the main body has ceased to grow, the second one is within Roche's limit. Could survive that body?
Good work!. Finally we know where erupt those geysers. No doubt it will be interesting to know the origin of that boulders.
The most amazing thing of the flyby besides of the images and the results is how a ship that is so far that her transmissions need more than a hour to reach Earth has been able to do that thing. Sometimes, it's hard to believe that's real and not just sci-fi (Still wondering why I call Cassini the "Supreme Explorer"? :).
A question: you gave us a terrestrial example of the difficult maneuvers Cassini had to achieve. Could an archer or a shooter to do something similar or it's something really epic?. Sorry if the question is weird, but I'm curious about it.
To Graupma: what's the problem on naming geographical accidents on another worlds (not only Enceladus, but also -I think- Titan) by something that just SOUNDS as Muslim, when as emmy has stated are names of cities that existed BEFORE Islam?.
I recognize I'm from outside the US and my POVs are quite different of the US ones, but come on... don't merge that stuff with science.
Thanks for letting me know. No doubt that north polar vortex will be something worth to see.
I was thinking that because the in south pole region, there's no hexagon. Perhaps an alike structure could form there when winter arrives to the southern hemisphere (and vice-versa), but for that we'll have to wait a few years.
Excellent. Check out also http://ciclops.org/view/4728/Coming_to_Light
I wonder what will happen to the hexagon when summer returns to Saturn's northern hemisphere. Perhaps it will disappear and/or a largue hurricane as that of Saturn's south pole will appear there. Just hope Cassini will see it.
The images by itself are nothing less than astounding as stated. The mosaic is nothing less than impressive.
Just imagine what views could have a rover sent there, to the stripes; so many cool -in both senses- places to visit and so little money on space investigation. It's a pity.
Excellent work!. I was sure Cassini would do it again. The raw images are least to say astounding -even more than those of the last flyby, in march-, with that impressive resolution and that terrain that seems to be out of place -especially this one that seems to have been taken near the terminator.- The "skeet shot" technic has worked beautifully...and surely we've not seen all the images.
The more the mission progresses, the more I love it. And the best will come in october, flying by Enceladus at just *25* kilometers. Sometimes, I feel as I was living a sci-fi movie instead of a space mission...
Undoubtely, beautiful. The best is to compare it with pictures of 2007, 2006, 2005, and 2004 to see how have been changing the blues.
I wonder how would have looked Saturn's northern hemisphere during 2002, when rings were at its maximum.
Four years... and it seems it was yesterday when we were awaiting with excitation for the success of the S.O.I and wondering what Cassini would discover at Saturn.
I send you my most sincere congratulations for the excellent work you've done these years, making those exciting discoveries -and best of all, sharing them with us- and I thank you for posting everyday from monday to friday with nearly swiss punctuality an usually amazing -as it's the case- image, making our day.
My best wishes for the Equinox Mission. May the odyssey of the "Supreme Explorer" last many more years.
If I'm not wrong in the 30's of the past century, a white spot was seen in Saturn. That spot increased until it enveloped the entire planet before disappearing. I'm not sure if it was a storm or a huge helium bubble that appeared from the deepness of Saturn; anyway, imagine if that happened again and Cassini was there to imaging it.
Great stuff. It seems the famous "Dragon Storm" has returned.
Thanks; i was suspecting the difference was precissely the great difference in the mass distribution between a galaxy and Saturn's ring system.
Anyway, it's beautiful to see similar physical processes working at scales so different as planetary ones and galactic ones.
Just one question: are those "spiral waves" the same that are responsable for shaping spiral galaxies?
The patterns nature can create are nothing less than breathtaking and this image shows it quite well.
:). You'll never guess where i got that of "Supreme Explorer" from. Keep up the good work!
CONFIRMED: NASA has approved Cassini's extended mission (http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/news/press-release-details.cfm?newsID=833).
At least two more years of science and odyssey at Saturn if everything goes well.
Remember some mass media just want sensationalism. If -just as an example- Cassini during a Titan flyby found there geological structures that look like runways, surely they would say "Cassini finds titanian runways", not just natural structures that look as that. Also, (very) little damage could do Cassini to something so huge as Saturn (think on what we've done to our planet and it's still around...for now).
About the extended mission, I believed it had been approved -you can even see what is in store for her here: http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/operations/index.cfm, although, yes, it's stated there the official approval is pending-.
I hope that there'll be that approval, and luckily will be still many years of Cassini mission: that magnificent spacecraft that's undoubtely and at least for now the "Supreme Explorer", certainly deserves it.
I agree with bruno.thiery .Great image, perhaps the most beautiful of the ones you've posted during this year.
Also, nice comment the one of 3488; Let's hope that Cassini will be still around for that epoch -after all, Galileo survived during eight years in the hellish Jovian environment-.
Fantastic image; it's really beautiful the display of shadows that can be seen on the image.
Just imagine how beautiful would be see one image alike, but with Titan's shadow, i wonder if Titan's purplish outer atmosphere could be seen projected on Saturn's surface as a ring around the planet.
Nothing less than tantalizing; it seems to have been cropped of http://ciclops.org/view.php?id=2563
I can't wait for the summer when Cassini, according to the mission webpage will be at its highest inclination; just imagine how beautiful would be one "On the Final Frontier", but from that viewpoint -even a simulated Celestia view can't hold against a CICLOPS image-
It's a possibility. Anyway, both Enceladus and Dione seems to lack the "sulcus" present on Ganymede, so things have worked different there.
I guess if something was active in Titan, it would have been detected by the VIMS team and perhaps the CIRS team, and so far, it seems no "hot spots" have been detected on Titan.
One interesting possibility would be that Titanian cryovolcanism works "on impulses"; today is inactive or at least mostly so, but in other epochs is at work.
High quality comment, Carolyn. So, instead of cryovolcanism we have "cryotectonics" (at least Titan seems to have cryovolcanism or at least hints of it, according to SAR imaging).
And, talking about Titan, really impressive the release about its subsurface ocean. I guess that GSEs that were done during T11, T22, T33, and T38 should confirm its existence, since SAR was the instrument used to detect it.
You did it again. I tip my hat to all the people involved in this epic mission. The raw images are really fantastic -as well as this mosaic, of course-. This has been nearly so exciting as the Iapetus flyby (and not more, just because I had other things to worry about).
You know, the Cassini-Huygens mission is more than just a space mission; as well as the Voyager mission, it's a legend, the history of two intrepid explorers whose odyssey will live forever in the history of space exploration.
Excellent work!. Now, it's time to analyze all the data and see what surprises has Enceladus in store for us.
(PS: R.I.P. A.C.Clarke, and thank you for writing that superb novel that is "2001" as well as "Rendezvous with Rama". May everywhere you're now you can continue following the discoveries coming from the Saturnian system)
A note: Cassini's closest approach will be far of the "tiger stripes". Cassini will pass through the plume at a height of roughly 600 kilometers, so no doubt Carolyn is right -I believed she would be at 50 kilometers of the tiger stripes-.
Also notice, by the way, that the height of the flyby has been revised; I remember to have seen last years the original idea was a height of around 25 kilometers.
By the way, it's really impressive the precision needed to guide a spacecraft that moves so fast at a distance so close to a target. Even though Sir Isaac Newton does most of the job, the Nav team deserves also A LOT of credit.
I guess raw images should be available tomorrow. No doubt they'll be worth to see.
Are you sure Cassini will not be hit by particles enough largue to damage her?. With the largue relative speed Cassini will have relative to Enceladus, a hit may be problematic (50 kilometers...with that speed, that distance is transversed in just a bit more than three seconds).
Anyway, good luck with that flyby; without doubt, it's one of the most exciting Cassini highlights for this year as well as the next flybys -if everything goes well and they take place-.
(PS: for curious, my nick of "Red Dragon" has nothing to see with Hannibal Lecter's movie :)
I'm also sure of that. During at least part of the extended mission, no doubt Saturn images will be truly "Voyager Redux", looking it as during the Voyager flybys. It will be interesting to compare Cassini images of that future epoch with Voyager ones to see how the imaging systems have been improving with the years, from the Voyager' vidicons to Cassini's CCDs. So let's hope everything works fine up there with our "Supreme Explorer", as until now.
Really beautiful pic. It's fun to compare it with http://ciclops.org/view.php?id=3262 and to see how the nothern blues are slowly being replaced with salmon hues.
Interesting the abstract you comment. I say it, because it seems there was diferentiation in Enceladus, or at least I've that impression seeing some renderings of the internal structure or that moon.
It's a pity we've so few data about the uranian moons, but it seems quite possible that having more dense (rocky) materials, more radiactive elements are present, thus there will be more internal heat and so more geological activity (ask Miranda; I'm skeptical about the theory of a "stitched moon" after being destroyed due to an impact).
Perhaps other possibility for the past geological activity of the uranian moons was the event that made Uranus to have its rotation axis so inclined -probably a HUGE impact-... but I can't see how that could affect the moons. It's unlikely for me that it could affect their orbits -in the sense of giving them a higher eccentricity, different distances, etc- and the rearrangement of those orbits to the uranian equator I think would be something that would be occurring relatively slowly and not from one day to other.
Anyway, it's really interesting to see how even within the same satellite system there're worlds so different as Rhea and Enceladus (and nothing to say about Io and Callisto in Jupiter). There's still much to see in the Solar System and I still think I'll see spacecrafts orbiting all planets of the Solar System (currently, the unique planets that lack of that are Mercury -until MESSENGER arrival at 2011-, Uranus, and Neptune).
Yes, it's a possibility. But note also that Rhea's distance to Saturn may have something to see with the apparent lack of geological activity. Titan is at roughly 750'000 kilometers of her and Dione at 150'000 kilometes; she's not so "tightly packed" as inner moons.
Or perhaps Rhea was very active after her formation, but *heavy* bombardment destroyed the geological features she could had... who knows.
it's curious how, even considerating the difference of composition of the bedrock -ice or rock-, the effect of rays and the excavation of fresh, brighter material occurs in worlds so different as Rhea, Mercury, or our Moon.
Nice image, as earlier ones that featured other moonlets near Saturn's limb and the warping caused on the rings by Saturn's atmosphere. It would be interesting to see something alike, but with a largue moon -Mimas, Enceladus...- near of the planet's limb; surely, the apparent warping of the moon would be spectacular.
Last Sunday, I saw a doc on National Geographic about possible places on the Solar System to look for possible lifeforms. One of these places was (is) Enceladus with its impressive geysers and the scientist who appeared talking about them was -of course- Carolyn. Her comments about that moon and those fountains -I'm eargerly waiting for the march flyby- were quite interesting...and was also fun to recognize CICLOPS images on the computer screens that appeared in the background -one of them the false color image of above-.
No doubt she's the "Lady of Saturn" and the CICLOPS team the "Gentlemen of Saturn".
I bet what Cassini will discover in 2008 will be certainly fascinating as was what was seen in former years. Especially promising are that CLOSE Enceladus flyby in March as well as -undoubtely- the program for Cassini's extended mission. Good luck!.
If you let me, I'll make another comment on that image now she's the winner of the contest. "On the Final Frontier" gives a feeling not only of beauty, but also of power. Especially when one knows how largue is Saturn.
This one is full of magic and mistery -especially this- for obvious reasons; nobody could have imagined something so beautiful, magical, and misterious as "In Saturn's Shadow".
Simply put,magnificent.If i had to choose two images that represented the Cassini-Huygens mission,one would be this one (the other,the view of Titan's surface obtained by Huygens).
Superb. I can't wait for the equinox observations during extended mission; if Titan transits across Saturn's disk seen from HST (http://hubblesite.org/gallery/album/entire_collection/pr2007013h/) are impressive, the view from Saturn's orbit surely will be breathaking. May we see it.
"Worlds of the Cassini-Huygens Mission: Beyond the Realm of Jupiter".
Great image, as usual. If you see it zoomed out, it looks like the telescopic aspect Saturn offers now -except for the disklike Titan, of course-.
Fantastic, amazing, epic... no words can describe the unearthly beauty of this image. Thank you very much for creating this magnificent picture that rivals with "In Saturn's Shadow" and those magnificent vistas you took when Cassini was approaching to Saturn.
Truly fantastic and alien. Images that show something (Saturn or whatever) in a crescent phase are my favourites and this one is not and exception. I tip my hat to you: another great picture from CICLOPS.
Let's hope the IAU when naming those new features discovered there makes that name official; it would be a good homage for these two mythical explorers (if there's a "Vallis Marineris" in Mars that -if i don't remember wrong- was named after the Mariner spacecraft why couldn't be a "Voyager mountains"?
Great job what you've done with this flyby, not only CICLOPS but also the entire Cassini mission team. It has had everything: fantastic images, a new, fascinating world, a wealth of scientific data, the visit on the mission website of A. C. Clarke, and even some dramatism "thanks" to that cosmic ray hit. Fantastic and without doubt one of the most exciting highlights of the entire mission.
"I bet Carolyn won't be happy until there are 64 of them"
Me too :)
By the way, the larguest moons of Saturn would give perhaps even more spectacular views than Saturn itself. I'll have to modify the Celestia's solar system file to enter the new moon's parameters to see the results, but imagine how would look their conjunctions, close approachs, etc. between them as they're so near one of the other.
Dramatic and fascinating as many other images of that kind taken by the NAC. By the way,BRAVO for these new year of those stunning images and discoveries sent from Saturn and my best wishes for this new year of odyssey orbiting Ringworld.
If you didn't say it's a color view of Iapetus, it could de taken as an image of Titan taken with IR filters.
Quite interesting image; let's see what Cassini sees in Iapetus during the 10th September flyby. I haven't lost hope of finding there the Clarke's "stargate"
That peaceful red dragon who prefers knowledge to material treasures has left its lair and it's again here. A very interesting image, specially when one compares it with images like this one, taken by Galileo: http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA01109
and see the similarities between the geological activity of both moons, even considerating the difference in materials: sodium at Io and icy particles at Enceladus.
While these images are not so stunning as other views of Saturn, they're still very interesting to see as they show how the ring system is "live" and changes and evolves with time. I've seen estimations about the lifetime of the ring system and, certainly, we've been fortunated to live on an epoch of the history of the solar system where we can see something so majestic as Saturn's rings.
Just one note:all images taken by space probes -not only Cassini,but also Voyager and Galileo- are taken in B&W.Images taken with different filters -usually,red,green,and blue- are combined to get the color images we know.
Remember Cassini is not at Saturn on a touristic trip:its mission is to gather scientific data of the Saturnian system. Color images are at least beautiful,but the science information is contained on those unprocessed raw images that we can see on Cassini's web site.
Also,obtaining a color image is not so simple as combining raw images (I know that for experience).Calculations must be made to avoid to see one moon of different color in those images where one sees a moon moving between images and the images itself must be processed. It's something hard,but it makes color images even more enjoyable
Yes,I know that.I'm refering to this one (if you let me post a link to Cassini's web site):http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/images/image-details.cfm?imageID=1731
It's a pity half of the data taken during the T7 flyby, which was to study that region had been lost. Let's hope that there will be more luck during the flyby that Cassini will conduct at the end of this year and we can see what lies there.
I'm still intriged by that RADAR image that shows a possible shoreline near Titan's south pole.
Very epic. Talking about shadows: I hope that Cassini will still be around during 2010. During that epoch, Saturn's ring will be seen edge-on from Earth,thus we'll be able to see how the shadows of the moons transit over the planet (the HST captured that during 1995).It would be nice to see that from Saturn's orbit,not from Earth's orbit.
Not so beautiful as "The Lore of Saturn",but still quite epic. Just one question: I remember that,during february of 2005 and 2006, Cassini spotted a storm in the southern hemisphere of Saturn (the "Dragon Storm").Has appeared this year?
Quite nice, especially how the shadow of the rings is the frontier between the nice blue of the northern hemisphere and the delicate colors of the southern hemisphere.
I wonder what eyes will be the first ones on seeing views like that,but lively and not through the cameras of a robotic probe.
Another of my favourites. I agree with you: that's the face of the beauty.
Talking about the bluish color of the winter hemisphere,no doubt it will be interesting to see how disappears as Saturn's rings inclination decreases and spring comes to the planet's northern hemisphere.I just wonder if it will fade slowly (what I think), or if it will fade relatively fast.
Exatly,pure psichedelia.I'd like to suggest you to add more of that kind of images obtained combining raw images with filters different of the classical red,green,and blue;they look quite interesting (and,of course,so beautiful as the RGB ones).
The two most interesting moons of Saturn pose together with pride.What I like of the image is how the NAC comprises the perspective making the two moons to look as if they were nearly touching;I have a 500mm telephoto and I've seen similar effects on pictures taken with it.
Quite interesting.What I'd like to know,however,it's the level of illumination on Titan's surface;I've seen that Titan receives "only 1% of the sunlight",but I have unclear if that 1% refers to the sunlight received to the Saturnian system compared to what's received on Earth or if that 1% it's a "1% of that 1%" (in other words,Titan's surface receives only 1/10000th of illumination Earth receives)
Another of my favourites;some of the most interesting "Worlds of the Cassini-Huygens mission" pose pridely there.Thank you for sharing with all those of us who love astronomy epic images like this one.