Search Results for 'cassini'

Looking up to Saturn

October 30, 2012 | By

Just in case you’ve forgotten how brain-destroyingly big Saturn is: [Click to encronosenate.] This shot of the ringed wonder was taken by the Cassini spacecraft when it was well over 2 million kilometers from the planet. The spacecraft was south of the rings, looking "up" toward the north. The Sun is shining down on the […]

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Saturn storm cranks the heat WAY up

October 26, 2012 | By

In late 2010, amateur astronomers discovered a white spot on Saturn – a gigantic storm forming in its northern hemisphere. The storm grew rapidly, and within weeks had embiggened to an almost unbelievable size, much larger than our entire planet. The winds in Saturn’s atmosphere sheared the storm, pulling it apart while it still raged, […]

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Angling in on Saturn

September 25, 2012 | By

Pretty much every picture of Saturn sent back home from the Cassini spacecraft is devastatingly gorgeous, but it’s confession time: I prefer the greyscale ones to the pictures in color. Why? Because this: Holy ringed gas giant awesomeness! [Click to encronosenate.] This shot was taken earlier this year, in June, when Cassini was about 3 […]

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Saturn's shadow slices the rings

August 29, 2012 | By

There is a whole lot of awesome in a picture of Saturn and its rings just released from the Cassini spacecraft. Check this out: Mmmmm, ringalicious. Cassini was about 2 million kilometers (1.2 million miles) from Saturn when it took this picture, so we’re seeing a decently wide-angle view. At the time, the spacecraft was […]

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VIDEO of Curiosity's descent… from the rover cam itself!

August 6, 2012 | By

Well, that was fast! The MARDI – MARs Descent Imager – was designed to take images as the Curiosity rover dropped down to the surface of Mars. Those thumbnail images have been put together into a stop-motion video that’s just jaw-droppingly cool: [It helps to set the resolution to HD and make the video as […]

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Lightning strikes in a storm bigger than worlds

July 18, 2012 | By

In 2010, a storm erupted in Saturn’s northern hemisphere. It grew, and grew, and GREW, until it physically wrapped around the planet. At its peak it was 300,000 kilometers (180,000 miles) in length: 3/4 of the distance from the Earth to the Moon! As you might expect, a storm like that might generate lightning… and […]

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Saturn eclipses an icy moon

July 18, 2012 | By

The mighty planet Saturn is circled by a fleet of moons, each as different from the other as individual people. And as weird and alien as it seems, this Saturnian system of planet and moons have some similarities to our own Earth and Moon. For example, as they orbit Saturn, the moons can be eclipsed […]

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Titanic antarctic vortex antics

July 11, 2012 | By

The Cassini spacecraft has been orbiting Saturn since late 2004, and has spent most of that time more or less in the same plane as the rings and moons. That allows it to pass close to these interesting places and see them in high resolution. But scientists and engineers recently changed that, flinging the probe […]

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An unusual view of the Death Star moon

June 21, 2012 | By

If you showed me this picture with no preamble, I’d know it was from Cassini, and showed a moon of Saturn, but I’d be baffled as to which one it is: [Click to ensithenate.] If you told me it was Mimas, I’d be surprised… and I was when I saw it! But it’s true. Mimas […]

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Saturn, raw

June 17, 2012 | By

There are times when I see an astronomical image so powerful that I’m momentarily stunned, my brain kicked hard enough that all I can do is stare at it and soak it in. This picture of Saturn is the latest to affect me this way: [Click to embiggen.] This astonishing image was taken on June […]

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