Whoa! Absolutely amazing stuff. Many thanks to you Carolyn and your team for presenting us with such spectacular images. i am looking forward to hearing about what they all mean in the coming weeks and months. is there a paper coming?
WOW! This is absolutely amazing! I am sure this will help science tremendously in our understanding of gravity and its effects. Did we have any suspicions previously that these structure extended above the ring plane to such an extent?! I am blown away. And as someone once said "The more I know, the more I realize I don't know".
That was so cool seeing Enterprise rise out of the clouds of Titan with Saturn in the background. It must be great Carolyn seeing an idea you suggested manifest itself on the big screen. My family had to wait with me at the end until I saw your name in the credits too. Congratulations, and what a great opportunity for Cassini to be put in the spotlight. You have done so much Carolyn to bring this amazing scientific acheivment to the public eye. I heard somewhere that you were thinking about making an IMAX film showing Cassini images. That has to be on the cards now after this film. And for all the nit-pickers ITS A MOVIE! and certainly one of the best TREK movies ever. I love all the character. The actors reallyl nailed them. Great experience I have to see it again!
The most amazing collection of space photos I have ever seen. Beautiful and breathtaking. I have been following Cassini closely for almost two years now and I have run out of adjectives to describe the beauty of Saturn and its moons. The excitement in knowing that you are discovering something new almost everyday must be a wonderful feeling to go to work with. Congratulations to Carolyn and her team. You have worked very hard to give us images that will be remembered for years to come and be preserved forever as a part of human history. You truly are a remarkable bunch of human beings!
Yes well said Harry. We can all appreciate the amazing diversity now evident within our own Solar System. Gone are the days where everything was nice and neat. Jupiter had 12 moons, Saturn had 9, Uranus 5 etc. No such thing as moonlets or ringlets. My purpose was to generate discussion and find out what other people thought. It is in our nature to categorize though, especially in astonomy, they just love it. Stars, nebulae, planets, galaxies have all been categorized extensively (eg G type star, planetary nebulae, barred spiral). So whether we like it or not, I think there will be an attempt by some to define 'moon'. As we find out more with the Keppler telescope then they may have to rewrite everything anyway. Like the issues surrounding the brown dwarf CFBDS J005910.83-011401.3. They don't seem sure to what to call it. Its possible that it more closely resembles a large planet? All I could say about defining a moon though is that could it be as simple as size eg. >100km radius and orbiting parent body = moon. Everything smaller than this is minor moon/moonlet/ringlet. These definitions or new ones can come later as we find out more. I am appreciating the fact though that we live in a time where these kind of discussions are even possible. It is very important not to get bogged down in definitions and appreciate the discoveries for what they are. I hear you loud and clear in tis regard.
To find such a small body within the ring is an amazing feat. Congratulations to the Ciclops team. How small do we go though before we dismiss these bodies as moons or moonlets and consider them just part of the ring? 500m,300m,50m . 500m is a very small moon. After defining a planet maybe we should consider redefining our definition of a moon/moonlet. Have they suggested any names?
To find such a small body within the ring is an amazing feat. Congratulations to the Ciclops team. How small do we go though before we dismiss this bodies as moons or moonlets and consider them just part of the ring? 500m,300m,50m . 500m is a very small moon. After defining a planet maybe we should consider redefining our definition of a moon/moonlet. Have they suggested any names?
Hello Carolyn, I was very interested in your explanation of tidal stresses to Nekto and I couldn't help wondering about Neptune's moon Triton. I imagine the same kind of thing is going on there with the geysers discovered by Voyager 2 except they are mainly liquid nitrogen as i found out. How do the lessons learned at Enceladus help us understand what's going on Triton or vica-versa. I know Triton's orbit is retrograde which if i understand correctly makes it more subject to tidal heating. I know you said that tidal heating would be concentrated at the poles but do you think there is any significance that at both Enceladus and Triton the heating is going on at the south pole? Last question. Will there ever be a Cassini style mission to Neptune (my second favourite planet) ? i truly hope to see that in my lifetime? It is been an exciting time to be alive watching Voyager and Cassini thats for sure.
Nekto if you want a schematic of the Saturn System or better still wander around and explore each moon i suggest you download the free program Celestia. Its really cool you can explore every planet/moon in the solar system and follow Cassinis trajectory.
Carolyn , Will subsequent flybys of Enceladus be used to image the same areas but with a different phase angle with the sun. I find myself wondering what's down in those valleys/canyons. Perhaps illumination from a different position could directly illuminate the source of the volcanism. Am I right t say that they are in shadow at present. And fantastic images so far by the way. Truly tremendous. I feel truly privileged that I am alive witnessing this first hand.
Saturn has always been my favourite planet since I was 11yrs old when I first looked at it through a telscope. You never forget that. I couldn't sleep for hours that night after that. The beauty of Saturn lends itself to beautiful music, but what is beautiful music is often a matter of opinion. I agree with Kevin just play your own and what you think is beautiful.
If Aliens landed in front of me one day and offered me a ride somewhere in their spaceship I would have to say "Take me to Saturn, Titan and Enceladus please". Do you think thats asking too much? I might be pushing it too if could ask if I could bring Carolyn Porco with me because i have a feeling she would appreciate it. Jason (Sydney)