CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Sector 6

Show Gort's comments posted in past:       

Saturn's Polar Jet
12-23-2013  21:36:16

Gravitational resonance?

Starry Night
12-24-2009  19:59:45

The reddish looking star just above the north pole of Encedalus is actually Rudolph's nose. You cannot see the rest of the reindeer, nor Santa's sleigh, due to the lighting angle.
12-24-2009  19:54:38

I think that the bottom one is "n UMi", and the top one is "19 UMi". nUMi is a vertex point in Ursa Minor, and 19 Umi is inside the constellation. However the reliability of my observation has got to be seriously scrutinized because contrary to my name, I am stuck here on Earth like the rest of us, gazing out into space wondering what's going on out there.

Red Spot Movie
12-24-2009  02:27:04

Jupiter's Red Spot revisited -- My son told me that the giant red spot in Jupiter is an effect caused by an "internal moon". He believes that a close-orbiting moon was pulled under the surface of the planet, and is shedding its material, dissolving like a losenge as it rotates and continues to orbit internally. This could explain the eddy patterns and material which streams around it as if it is blocking the path. Could the round ovals be material from such a moon? Has this theory been considered, and if so, what was the conclusion? (the red spot seems to have been written off as a "giant storm" since 1980)

Coming to Light
02-26-2008  14:19:02

Thanks, Andrew.

(But all it takes is one match to start a forest fire, according to Smokey the Bear... you'll have to Google that if you aren't from the US :-)

My understanding is that Cassini contains more than a few Kg of Plutonium Dioxide ... Perhaps as much as 40 Kg. Does the Plutonium become less reactive over time as it's used to provide energy for the probe?

Carolyn ... if you are monitoring, is this correct? I'd be interested to learn what the official consensus is on the topic.

02-24-2008  05:52:16


I just joined Sector 6 to keep abreast of the rest of the Cassini mission, and observed Carolyn's comment about the approved extended mission.

Has the ending date been fixed? I saw 2010 and then 2017 as potential years.

I am concerned about a possible reaction between the probe's atomic energy source and the extremely dense hydrogen on Saturn (or Jupiter). How fast would the probe be traveling when it hits the planet, and how deep will it penetrate?